COLCHESTER United boss Danny Cowley says it has been a pleasure to watch Alan Judge train with them over recent weeks.

And the U's head coach feels the experienced midfielder's involvement has been beneficial to the club's young players.

Judge is currently without a club but has been training with Colchester since recovering from a serious knee injury sustained while playing for the club at Sutton United back in December, 2022.

The 35-year-old has also been turning out for the U's under-21 side in the Professional Development League and played for 75 minutes in their recent 3-2 defeat to Millwall.

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Cowley said: "I think for us, we always try and do the right thing by people.

"He got injured playing for the club and Robbie (Cowling) has been incredible with him really, looking after him over this period.

"Alan has a huge amount of experience, a high quality player, technically excellent.

"He's trained with us and now he's getting some game time so we can get him in a good position and he can go and finish his career on his terms.

"That's what he's explained to me, that's what he wants to do.

"We want to help and support him in that way and also, he gives a lot back as well.


"Some people I suppose might look at it and say 'he's getting in a young player's way in that position for the under-21s'.

"But I flip it on its head really and say what about that number ten that plays with him and the experiences that they get, from his involvement and influence.

"So yes absolutely, we're supporting Alan but we're also helping young players.

"He's a pleasure to watch train every day.

"It's always great for Nicky and I to know that you're going to be coaching boys that have real technical quality, like he has."

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Judge was released by Colchester at the end of the 2022-23 season after two years with the club but was invited to continue his injury comeback by the League Two outfit. 

The former Republic of Ireland playmaker underwent a knee operation last March, after suffering a triple rupture in his left knee in the U's defeat at Sutton.

Judge suffered the injury in the first half of the 1-0 reverse, with the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament), PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament) and MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) all affected.

The former Republic of Ireland midfielder has made more than 450 league and cup career appearances.

In total, he made 55 league and cup appearances for Colchester, during his time at the JobServe Community Stadium.