Vilhj�lmsson signs until end of season

COLCHESTER United have signed Icelandic international Matth�as Vilhj�lmsson on loan until the end of the League One season.

The 23-year-old – who was on trial at the U’s for a week before Christmas – had been expected to sign for just three months before rejoining parent club Fimleikaf�lag Hafnarfjar�ar (FH) for the start of the new Icelandic season in March.

U’s boss John Ward has been able to negotiate a loan deal until the end of the English season though with FH holding a recall option on the attacking midfielder who has six international caps to his name.

Vilhj�lmsson played an hour in a behind-closed-doors 2-0 defeat at Reading yesterday afternoon as one of three U’s forwards alongside Kayode Odejayi and Steven Gillespie.

“It’s taken a while to get him in but the deal has now gone through,” said Ward. “Matthias has joined us on loan until the end of the season.

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“His club (FH) have got the option of a recall and we will then decide at a later date if want to take it any further.”

Left-sided Irishman Conor Powell played an hour at Reading yesterday a day after signing for the club, while Norwegian defender Morten Knudsen also played an hour as he recovers from the knee injury which has kept him out for over eight months. The likes of Mark Cousins, Pat Baldwin and Ben Coker also featured.

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Neither Powell or Vilhj�lmsson are likely to feature for the U’s in their home game against Bournemouth on Friday night as both are effectively in their pre-season training programmes at present, the Icelandic season having finished in late September and the Irish season concluded in early November.

“I think Friday’s game will be a little bit early for them both,” said Ward, having watched the friendly match at Reading. “Their fitness levels are at a different stage to the rest of the squad.

“We are trying to arrange another friendly game next week though and I don’t think it will be long until they are ready for the first team.”

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