Heath and White join Southend

COLCHESTER United defensive duo Hatt Heath and John White have joined Essex neighbours Southend United on a month's loan as manager Paul Lambert continues to try and trim down his large squad.

Stuart Watson

COLCHESTER United defensive duo Hatt Heath and John White have joined Essex neighbours Southend United on a month's loan as manager Paul Lambert continues to try and trim down his large squad.

Centre-half Heath and full-back White travelled to Roots Hall on Thursday morning to sign their paperwork and will join in training with their new team mates today.

The deal for both players is initially for a month until August 30, but there is an option to extend if both clubs so desire.


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The duo are set to make their debut for the Shrimpers in tomorrow night's pre-season friendly at Stevenage Borough - a club at which White spent a spell on loan in 2007.

Lambert may have seen Mark Yeates, Dean Gerken and Chris Coyne depart the Community Stadium this summer, but he has already brought in six new summer signings in Ben Williams, Magnus Okuonghae, Lee Beevers, David Fox, Gary Holt and Joel Thomas. Ashley Vincent's loan deal has been made permanent, while Pat Baldwin, Mark Cousins and Alan Maybury have all signed new deals.

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That takes his squad up to 29 contracted first team players - a number he is keen to reduce.

Two more Colchester players are on trial with other clubs. Full-back Phil Ifil at fellow League One side MK Dons and striker Jamie Guy at League Two side Port Vale. Vale are believed to be keen to complete a loan deal for the 22-year-old.

Heath, 27, joined the U's from Leeds on a free transfer in May last year having impressing during a five game loan spell. He went on to make just 14 more league and cup appearances for Colchester though and ended up spending the last few weeks of the season on loan at League One side Brighton.

White, 23, is a product of the club's academy and has made over 130 appearances for the U's since 2003. He featured heavily last season - making 32 appearances - but has now found himself behind Lee Beevers and Alan Maybury in the right-back pecking order.

The pair will act as much-needed defensive cover for Southend who saw Peter Clarke join Huddersfield this summer and have captain Adam Barrett is injured.

The coastal side did have defenders Giele John and Harry Worley on trial this week but have decided not to take their interest any further.

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