COLCHESTER United legend Karl Duguid has signed for Heybridge Swifts.

The midfielder recently parted company with Needham Market and has now agreed to join the Ryman League side.

Scraley Road boss Jody Brown believes the U’s former skipper will be a positive influence both on and off the pitch at Scraley Road.

“This is something I’ve been working on for a long time, since taking the Heybridge job,” said a delighted Brown.

“I took him to Welling United with me so it was only 12 months ago that he was playing National League football.

“He’s far from a spent force and still has so much to offer, both on the pitch and off it.

“He’s an unbelievable trainer, as anyone who’s ever worked with him will testify.

“And he’s a consummate professional, who keeps himself in great shape by watching what he eats and barely touching a drop of alcohol.

“He’s an experienced player who can undoubtedly still perform at a very high level for us.”

Brown believes Duguid, who has also played for Stanway Rovers, will have a positive impact on his young Swifts squad.

The team avoided relegation from division north by winning their final game of last season.

“As I’ve said many times, there’s so much potential within our young squad and to have someone of Karl’s stature out on the pitch, both in games and in training, and in the dressing room will be invaluable,” he said.

“He’ll lead by example and point all the players in the right direction.

“I’m so pleased to have him on board.

“It really helps both in terms of elevating the club’s profile and creating the kind of culture I want to create.”

Duguid made over 400 appearances for Colchester and also had a spell coaching at the club before leaving in October 2014.

It completes a busy week for Swifts, who have confirmed that Lewis Dark, Phil Anderson, George Doyle and Lewis Godbold will be staying for the 2016/17 season.

Goalkeeper Danny Sambridge has also been retained and, in addition to playing, will also be part of the club's youth coaching set-up, working with the club's young shot-stoppers.

Brown believes the majority of last season's squad will stay put and believes his talented squad can build on their success late last season.