WAYNE Brown expects Shamal George and Sam Hornby to 'fight it out' to be Colchester United number one goalkeeper this season.

George has been linked with a move away from the JobServe Community Stadium this summer, following an impressive campaign last time around.

Colchester's 2021-22 Player of the Year is still with the club now and will battle it out for a place with Hornby, who arrived on a permanent deal from Bradford City, last week.

Both goalkeepers played 45 minutes in the U's friendly at Reading on Saturday and head coach Brown wants them to compete for his starting XI.

Brown said: “Sham is at the football club so at the end of the day, we’ve got two number ones.

“That’s my aim, that’s my ambition this year – to have two number ones to try and fight it out.

“Whoever is doing the business gets the shirt and plays the game – end of story.


“Ultimately, that’s what I want all over the pitch.

“If there’s a player like a Clamps for example who’s having a bad time, we’ve got another left-back to come in and do a job.

“Same with Coxey and Junior on the other side and the four centre-halves that we have.

“All over the pitch, we need competition for places and you need to be pushed in this game.

“You need someone to want your shirt because you need to be at the top of your game.

"If you’ve got that competition whilst managing the group and keeping them happy, you’re doing all you can."


Hornby arrived on a two-year contract from Bradford last week, having impressed during his loan spell with Colchester last season.

The 27-year-old finished last season between the sticks for the U's, having started their final two games.

“Sam played a few games for us last year; he’s a very, very good goalkeeper," added Brown.

“He’s one that was on our radar last year and having him in the environment for the length of time that we did enhanced our thinking about why we did like him, because he’s a very good goalkeeper.

“He’s a good age as well so I think it’s a really good bit of business for the football club."