COLCHESTER United will host their Essex neighbours Southend United next month, in a pre-season friendly.

The U's will entertain their National League rivals at the JobServe Community Stadium on Tuesday July 19, kick-off 7.30pm.

It will be the first time that Colchester have played against Southend since the two clubs met in a League Two clash, in April 2021.

On that occasion, the U's ran out 2-0 winners thanks to first-half goals from Michael Folivi and Harry Pell.

It was a pivotal result that went a long way to securing Colchester's EFL safety, while at the same time virtually condemning Blues to relegation to the National League.

Southend, now managed by their former player Kevin Maher, finished 13th in their first season in the National League.

The game could see former U's youngster Ollie Kensdale return to his former club.

Colchester say that further details on tickets will be announced in due course.

The U's will also face Bath City, Maldon and Tiptree and Heybridge Swifts in pre-season, with more friendly dates set to be announced.

Colchester will welcome his players back to Florence Park for pre-season training on June 20.

The opening day of the new League Two season will be Saturday, July 30, a week earlier than normal.

The U's will discover their fixtures for the new League Two season on Thursday, June 23.