STEVE Ball says taking caretaker charge of Colchester United for their final League One match this weekend will be a “very proud moment”.

Colchester-born Ball, who this week was named as the U’s new first-team coach John McGreal’s assistant, will take the helm for the club’s last match of the season against Rochdale on Sunday.

Ball, who had two spells at Colchester as a player, will take temporary charge of the U’s with new boss McGreal due to take over in the hot seat once the season is complete.

And with David Wright, who was Colchester’s caretaker manager for their 2-2 draw at Barnsley last weekend, unavailable for personal reasons, Ball has stepped up as caretaker boss as the curtain comes down on the club’s eight-year stint in League One.

Ball told the Daily Gazette: “I’m really looking forward to being in charge on Sunday.

“I was born here and I’ve played for my home town team twice under managers like Mick Mills and George Burley, so I have a real link to the club.

“I really understand what this team means to people.

“I’ve spent most of my life here, so it will be a very proud moment for me.

“There’s a real excitement about being involved.”

Ball says he is delighted to have been named as Colchester’s new assistant manager – and cannot wait to team up with McGreal in the Football League.

“I’m delighted to be working with John and really looking forward to the challenge,” said Ball, who made nearly 80 league and cup appearances for the U’s as a player in the 1990s.

“I’ve worked with John with the under-21s for a few months and he’s a winner and someone with great desire to do well.

“He’s created a great environment with the under-21s and that will be the aim with the first team.

“We’re under no illusions that it will be a really challenging year.

“We would expect to be up there and getting good results on a consistent basis but we know that we will have to work hard, in order to do that.

“Changes happen all the time in football but now we have to kick on, work hard and get some harmony.”

Colchester United will announce their ticket prices for the 2016-17 season this weekend.