ALEX Woodyard has become Colchester United's eighth summer signing after reuniting with the Cowleys for a fourth time.

The 31-year-old midfielder has become the latest player to join the U's new-look squad, after joining the club on a one-year deal.

Woodyard was a free agent after his York City contract was mutually terminated, earlier this week.

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He is now back with U's management duo Danny and Nicky Cowley, having previously played under them at Lincoln City, Braintree Town and Concord Rangers.

U's boss Danny Cowley said: "Alex is a boy that we picked up at Concord Rangers, when he'd just left Southend.

"He did brilliant for us.

"Nicky always says he retired him!

"Nicky's knees were coming to the end at the age of 33, 34, playing in the middle of midfield!


"He had no cartilage in one of them and when Alex came along, Nicky said he did pre-season, looked at him and said 'you can do a lot better than me, I think I might take a backward step here'.

"Alex ended up being the first-ever Concord Rangers player to play for England C and ended up captaining them.

"We then went to Braintree, he came with us and did brilliantly in that season when we finished third in the National League.

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"We then took him to Lincoln and we obviously won the league and had the FA Cup run.

"In the next season, we won the Checkatrade Trophy and finished in the play-offs.

"I think at that stage, he had so much interest and it was just probably the right time to move on.

"We sold him to Peterborough and now he's back with us."

Woodyard began his career at Southend United and has made more than 450 career appearances, to date.


The Gravesend-born midfielder enjoyed a stellar season under the Cowleys in 2016-17, helping Lincoln win promotion back to the Football League and reach the FA Cup quarter-finals, along with being voted the club's player of the season.

Since playing for Lincoln, he has represented Peterborough United, Tranmere Rovers and York City and is now embracing a fresh challenge at Colchester.

Woodyard joins Lyle Taylor, Rob Hunt, Jack Payne, JK Gordon, Ben Goodliffe, Harry Anderson and Matt Macey in signing for the U's, this summer.