Freddie Ladapo is not quite ready to challenge for a first-team place at Colchester United .

That’s the view of development coach Richard Hall, who feels the young striker will benefit from playing for the U’s under-21 side this season.

Ladapo, who signed professional terms with Colchester earlier this year, has made a promising start to the new season.

The 19-year-old featured regularly for the U’s senior side during pre-season.

He bagged Colchester’s winner in their 1-0 triumph over Swansea City on Monday night, at the Weston Homes Community Stadium .

And he also netted in their opening game at Bristol City, in the newly-formed under-21 Professional Development League.

Hall believes Ladapo will benefit from playing more games at under-21 level.

He said: “Freddie is hungry for goals and he’s scored in both of our games so far.

“He needs a bit of time and he’s still a young boy learning his trade.

“But he’ll get a lot of experience playing in this league which is fantastic for both him and the other lads.

“He came up against two really experienced centre-backs at Bristol City and that’s all good practice for him.”

See Thursday's Gazette for more on this story and all of the latest Colchester United news, including Duguid's Diary.