JAMES McFarlane has been appointed as Colchester United's new Academy Manager.

McFarlane, who first started coaching the club's young players in the 2012-13 season when he presided over the under-nines, has taken charge in the role overseeing the U's youth set-up at Florence Park.

The position became available, following Dave Huzzey's promotion to first-team duties alongside Wayne Brown and Joe Dunne, in January.

McFarlane told Col U TV: "I'm really looking forward to it.

"I've been at the club a while, a long time and I feel like I know it and I'm ready to hopefully push it forward again.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the whole spectrum, from eights to 23s all the way through and hopefully, get some more players through to the first team.

"This is almost the calm before the storm really.

"Back in mid-August when we welcome all the groups back, it will be full on from there."

McFarlane has previously run the club's Foundation Phase on a full-time basis and primary school age players and progressed to the YDP phase (secondary school).

His latest role was to oversee the whole of the U's schoolboy programme, assisting Dave Huzzey before covering him after his elevation to the first team.