Rene Gilmartin says he has enjoyed throwing himself into his coaching role after completing his first season at Colchester United.

The 31-year-old arrived as the U’s new goalkeeper coach last summer as Ademola Bankole’s replacement, with the former Watford shot-stopper tasked with working with the club’s keepers and also serving as a player.

But Gilmartin’s appearances on the pitch have been few and far between, with the Dublin-born player restricted to two Checkatrade Trophy games in the 2017-18 campaign.

However, the ex-Walsall player says he has been happy to concentrate on his coaching role, working with the likes of Sam Walker and Dillon Barnes.

And ahead of working with new signings Bailey Vose and Ethan Ross next season, Gilmartin told the Daily Gazette: “I’m really happy with how my first season at Colchester has gone.

“You can’t be 50-50 with this job.

“You have to commit to it one or the other and I’ve committed myself to the goalkeepers, this year.

“I’ve enjoyed my first season here immensely and John (McGreal) and Steve (Ball) have been superb to work with.

“They’re the kind of managers who are happy for me to suggest things and they want to bring me in a little bit more, which has been fantastic.

“My number one job was to improve the goalkeepers and get them to a level of performance that we’re happy with.

“I think that’s been a box ticked, with Sam Walker progressing to the level he has with his game and Dillon Barnes being in the position to step in, in the last few games of the season.

“This has been the process throughout the season and it’s the type of club where everyone needs to pull their weight.

“It’s great for me and my learning and the club.

“It’s just worked for me and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Colchester boasted the joint sixth-best defensive record in League Two in the season just gone, with keeping 13 clean sheets in that time.

“It’s been about developing and progressing their game, sitting down with them and asking them where they want to get to,” added Gilmartin.

“Sam is an aspiring goalkeeper - he wants to get better as a goalkeeper and the club to get better with him. I knew Sam’s capabilities and everything was geared towards him performing week in, week out and that whole plan worked.

“Second to that was developing Dillon Barnes, who's also done really well.”