Honeymooner Matt signs up

MATT Lockwood found time, in between his wedding and his honeymoon, to sign for Colchester United yesterday.Just four days after Lockwood had taken his wedding vows, and hours before he flew out of Gatwick on his honeymoon, the 31-year-old left-back put pen to paper on a permanent two-year contract.

Carl Marston

MATT Lockwood found time, in between his wedding and his honeymoon, to sign for Colchester United yesterday.

Just four days after Lockwood had taken his wedding vows, and hours before he flew out of Gatwick on his honeymoon, the 31-year-old left-back put pen to paper on a permanent two-year contract.

The U's had agreed a fee with his former club Nottingham Forest a fortnight ago, believed to be in the region of £100,000, but personal terms were only finalised yesterday.


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Lockwood therefore becomes U's boss Geraint Williams' second summer signing, following on the heels of Matt Heath's move from Leeds United.

Williams revealed last night: “Matt (Lockwood) has shown his commitment to Colchester United by coming down to sign for us, before he goes off on his honeymoon.

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“Nottingham Forest were more than happy for him to stay, but he wants to stake a claim for regular first team football with us.

“He will be a strong contender for a place in our team, and it means there will be more competition for places.

“He's very comfortable on the ball, and he can play football as well as being a good defender. It was obvious that our weaknesses were in defence last season,” added Williams.

There is no substitute for experience, and the U's beleaguered defence will have bags of it for the start of next season.

Lumbered with the worst defensive record in the Championship last term, when they leaked 86 goals in 46 league matches, Williams has made strengthening the defence his priority during pre-season.

Centre-half Heath can draw on considerable experience with previous clubs Leicester, Coventry and Leeds, while new recruit Lockwood made 383 senior appearances for Leyton Orient over nine seasons, before his switch to Forest a year ago.

And of course current U's centre-half Chris Coyne, snapped up for a club record £350,000 from Luton at the start of this year, is benefiting from being a member of Australia's World Cup qualifying squad this month.

Lockwood became renowned for his accuracy from free-kicks and penalties during his long spell at Leyton Orient, and he duly chalked up his 50th league goal for the O's before his departure.

It didn't work out for the Southend-born defender at Forest.

He was injured on the opening day of last season, which sidelined him for nearly four months, and so he had to play second fiddle to Julian Bennett.

He only made 12 appearances in what was a promotion-winning season for Colin Calderwood's men.

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