Lloyd Doyley says he sees his move to Colchester United as a chance to win promotion again.

The 33-year-old, who has joined the U’s on a free transfer until the end of the season, was a big part of Watford’s elevation into the Premier League under former Colchester boss Aidy Boothroyd, in 2006.

Doyley, who played more than 400 times for the Hornets in the top two divisions during his 14 years as a professional at Vicarage Road, is now ready to embrace a new challenge with the U’s.

And the versatile defender sees no reason why his new club cannot make an immediate return to League One, this season.

Doyley told the Daily Gazette: “I’m looking forward to a new challenge and I still have ambition, which is to win medals and get another promotion.

“We’re only six points off the automatic promotion places and there are still a lot of games and points to play for.

“Colchester is a club that has everything there for it to grow.

“They’ve recently gone through a relegation to League Two so I see it as a chance to get promoted again.

“I’ve had a couple of promotions in my career and there’s no better feeling than that.

“It’s a very tight league – there’s a few big clubs like Plymouth Argyle and Portsmouth etc and you can’t compete with them financially.

“But if you get a good little run going, you could be up there fighting.

“It’s been a bad couple of years for Colchester – I’ve kept in touch with Matt Briggs and Marvin Sordell both of whom I was at Watford with and I remember coming along to watch one of their games, last season.

“At Watford, we were in the Premier League and then came down to the Championship and had to adjust.

“By Christmas, we were 12 points clear and we adjusted pretty well.

“But in different divisions, there are a lot of teams who play in different ways.

“It’s a long season and there are still a lot of points to be won.”

Doyley has just returned from a thigh injury, which sidelined him for six weeks.

The Jamaica international, who had a short spell at Rotherham United last season, played 90 minutes at centre-half for Colchester’s under-23 side in their 0-0 draw with Bolton Wanderers yesterday afternoon.

“I played 90 minutes and that was good for my fitness,” said Doyley.

“I was out for six weeks with a thigh injury, which I picked up while I was training with Watford.

“Maybe I can get a couple more games in before I get into the first team.

“I’m patient and I’ll be working hard – I feel good and now it’s just up to the boss.

“If he feels me coming in will help the team in this specific game, then I’m sure he’ll do that.

“But in the last game, the boys kept a clean sheet and they defended pretty well and you don’t usually change a team that has done pretty well.

“I’ll be patient and I know my time will come and if that means getting more minutes on the field for the under-23s, then so be it.

“I got the injury at the same time as Colchester asked me to come and train and it’s taken my body a bit of time to adapt to training and playing games again but I feel like I’m in a good place.”