RYAN Jackson has revealed he snubbed offers from higher division clubs to sign for Colchester United.

The attacking right-back says he rejected interest from League One sides to join the U's and become their first summer signing, after leaving Gillingham.

Jackson told the Daily Gazette: "When I left Gillingham, my main thought was to continue playing in League One.

"But I also had to weigh everything else up and decide what was best for me at this time.

"I had offers from League One clubs but it was about other things like location for me.

"I wanted to stay in the south and it worked out best for me.

"It's an exciting move for me and it all happened quite quickly.

"Steve Ball (U's assistant manager) called me and said they heard that I was available and wanted to get me down here.

"Speaking to the gaffer (John McGreal), he said Colchester are a young team and they could do with a few experienced lads.

"I've had a bit of experience playing in League One and League Two and I'm looking forward to getting going."

Jackson started his career at AFC Wimbledon before signing for Macclesfield Town, just over two seasons later.

The 26-year-old was at Moss Rose for a season before moving to Newport County, where he played under Justin Edinburgh.

Jackson then linked up with Edinburgh again at Gillingham in 2015 and made more than 70 appearances over two seasons at Priestfield, before leaving this summer.

Jackson has plenty of experience of playing in League Two - and says unity is key for any promotion-chasing side.

"To be successful, you need togetherness as a team," said Jackson.

"Everyone needs to be tight knit and team spirit is crucial - it's important that everyone works hard for each other.

"We all have to work together and make the most of the talent we've undoubtedly got in this squad.

"My main aim is to go up and to try and achieve some good things with Colchester."

Jackson has been training with his new Colchester team-mates this week - but already knows two members of the squad.

He added: "I know both Doug Loft and Brennan Dickenson, so there are already some familiar faces here.

"I got on with both of them at Gillingham and I'm looking forward to linking up with them again.

"It's a real shame that Dicko is out injured because he had a great season last year but he'll come back stronger."

Jackson will wear the number two shirt vacated by fellow right-back Richard Brindley, who has left Colchester after rejecting their offer of a new contract.