New Colchester United signing Ethan Ross says former England goalkeeper Ben Foster was the ideal player for him to learn from during his time at West Bromwich Albion.

Ross, who last weekend joined the U’s on a two-year contract, regularly spent time working with former Manchester United shot-stopper Foster during the youngster’s six-year spell at the Hawthorns.

The 21-year-old said Foster, who has more than 350 league games under his belt and made eight appearances for his country, was a big influence on his blossoming career.

Ross told the Daily Gazette: “He was the model pro and he was the ideal person for me to learn from.

“The guy has played for England and you can’t look past that.

“He was really good with me; he would take me to one side and say ‘that was good’ or say ‘you’re better than that’.

“He kept my standards high and he was very good with me, during my time at West Brom.

“When you work with people of that calibre, you have to keep your standards high.

“I’ve definitely improved as a goalkeeper since I started training with the first team more regularly.

“West Brom have had a very high standard of players since they’ve been in the Premier League.

“I’ve worked closely with Mark Naylor (West Brom’s Professional Development Phase Goalkeeping Coach) and he’s been a big influence on my development, over the years.

“He’s worked really hard with me and helped make me a more mature goalkeeper now.

“It’s also been working with the likes of Tony Pulis, Jonathan Gould and Neil Cutler and it was a very productive time for me and my development as a goalkeeper.”

Ross did not make a first-team appearance at West Brom during his time in the Black Country.

But he had productive loan spells at the likes of Worcester City and Evo-Stik League club Redditch United, where he finished the campaign before spending time on trial with the U’s.

“I was at West Brom for six years,” added Ross, who was named Redditch’s Supporters Player of the Year last weekend.

“I’d been there for quite a while but I needed to come out and do this, at this point and it’s great to have the chance to play in the Football League.

“As a goalkeeper, the most important thing is that you’re going out and playing games and get that experience.

“My loans have been really important for me and I’m glad I’ve got those under my belt.”