Kevin Horlock says he is "massively looking forward to the challenge" of coaching Colchester United's up and coming stars next season.

The former Manchester City, Ipswich Town and West Ham United midfielder will assist newly-appointed U's under-21 coach Wayne Brown next season, helping to nurture the club's talented youngsters.

Horlock will also manage Maldon and Tiptree in Ryman League division north, as part of the on-going link-up between the two clubs.

He succeeds Steve Ball, who recently left the Jammers to take over as Colchester's assistant manager alongside new first-team coach John McGreal.

Horlock told the Daily Gazette: “I’m massively looking forward to the challenge and the role ticks all of the boxes for me.

“It’s been a bit of a long time coming, in terms of coaching at a professional club.

“I coached really young children at schools and soccer camps and then I got involved at Needham Market’s Academy and helped to set that up.

“Then I was lucky enough to be involved in coaching Northern Ireland’s under-21s, which was great.

“I’ve bided my time and earned my stripes.

“I’ve wanted for a long time to be involved at a professional club, working with elite players and working with and learning from professional coaches.

“I managed at Chatham Town which I really enjoyed and it’s something that I wanted to do."

Horlock's appointment is one of a number of academy coaching changes to be announced at Colchester.

Brown has moved up from his role as under-18 coach to become lead coach of the under-21s.

He will replace John McGreal, who was appointed as the U's first-team coach earlier this month.

David Wright, who was Kevin Keen's assistant manager for four months, will take charge of Colchester's under-18s next season and will be assisted by Liam Bailey.

Adam Lewis has been confirmed as the club's Lead Phase Coach, with James McFarlane named as Lead Youth Phase Coach.