SAM Hornby says he is looking forward to competing with Shamal George for Colchester United's number one spot.

The 27-year-old has returned to the JobServe Community Stadium on a permanent basis, following a productive loan spell with the U's last season.

Hornby has signed for Colchester on a two-year deal, having joined them from League Two rivals Bradford City for an undisclosed fee.

He is now ready to do battle with George for the U's goalkeeper jersey - and says that can only be a good thing for everyone.

Hornby told "Competition is healthy - I think we both showed that last year with both of our performances.

"I came in and pushed him, was out and then I pushed him again to then get back in, the last couple of games.

"From my opinion and other people's opinions, we both did quite well so it's something I'm looking forward to, going forward.

"It's like any position - you've got to have competition and drive each other forward because at the end of the day, if we both push each other forward it bodes well for the football club."


Hornby, who had a year remaining on his contract at Bradford, made eight appearances on loan for Colchester last season.

The former Port Vale shot-stopper started the U's final two games last season, helping them keep a clean sheet in a 2-0 win at Hartlepool United on the final day of the campaign.

Hornby added: "It took a while and it was all out of my control but I'm delighted to get it done now.

"I really enjoyed my time here last year with them (the coaching team).

"It's nice to know there's a familiar place with all of the lads and the staff.


"It was good to see everyone - we all can't wait to get started with the first pre-season game and then the first game of the season, at Northampton.

"The end game is to get this club out of the division.

"First and foremost, the main target is to get into the team but that doesn't come without hard work.

"I realise how hard I'm going to have to work between now and the start of the season, to get into the team."