Winger excited by U's move

THE influx of new players to Colchester United continued last night, with winger Simon Hackney completing a six-figure move from Carlisle to the Community Stadium.

Carl Marston

THE influx of new players to Colchester United continued last night, with winger Simon Hackney completing a six-figure move from Carlisle to the Community Stadium.

And Hackney cannot wait to start playing for his new club, having only joined the professional ranks four years ago. He is set to go straight into the squad for tonight's home match against Northampton.

“This is all very exciting for me, because I've only been playing in the professional game for a few years,” enthused Hackney, who was playing for non-league Woodley Sports until 2005.

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“I'm really looking forward to the challenge, and of being a good asset to Colchester United.

“I've seen that the new manager (Paul Lambert) has significantly improved the club since he's been here, and I hope to be a part of taking it forward even further.”

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League One rivals Carlisle had accepted an undisclosed six-figure bid for Hackney at the end of last week, and the 24-year-old left-footer came down to Essex to thrash out personal terms yesterday.

Hackney was suitably impressed with the U's set-up, and therefore has become the latest of Lambert's new signings. He has signed a contract until 2011.

Since the Scotsman was appointed the new boss in mid-October, he has recruited full-backs Alan Maybury and Marc Tierney on a permanent basis, and keeper Jimmy Walker and wingers Lewis Gobern and Hackney on loan. Fellow loanees Sam Williams, Lee Hills and Jermaine Easter also had brief stays with the U's towards the end of last year.

U's boss Paul Lambert said: “I saw him (Hackney) in action for Carlisle against Crewe whilst I was out of work at the beginning of the season.

“I have had him watched since and he is another, like Marc Tierney, who I felt could do a job at this level.”

Carlisle boss Greg Abbott had insisted that he didn't want Hackney to leave Brunton Park, but he was powerless to prevent the player from talking to the U's after the new-improved offer had been agreed - an initial �25,000 bid had been turned down earlier in the month.

It was hugely significant that Hackney was omitted from Carlisle's squad last Saturday, even though he had been an early substitute for the injured Jeff Smith during the previous game, a 3-2 win over MK Dons. He played no part in a 4-1 defeat at Tranmere.Cumbrians boss Abbott had insisted: “The decision is in Simon's hands. He is going down to Colchester to speak to them.

“I don't want to sell him. We asked him the question and he wants to speak to the other club. Simon is a terrific player.”

But Hackney was keen to get away from Brunton Park, after 139 senior outings, with the promise of regular first team football with the U's.

Ironically, the U's are away at Carlisle this Saturday.

Meanwhile, another of the U's transfer targets, centre-half Mike Williamson, yesterday completed a move from Wycombe to Championship club Watford.

The U's had a bid for Williamson turned down by Wycombe earlier this month. He has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

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