Colchester United head coach John McGreal is hoping their pre-season programme this summer will be their most competitive yet.

Some of the U's players report back for fitness testing at Tiptree today, ahead of pre-season training commencing later this week.

Colchester will play friendlies against the likes of Championship side Millwall and National League rivals Dagenham and Redbridge and Braintree Town, as part of their build-up to the new League Two season.

They will also take on Evostik North side Colwyn Bay as part of their four-day pre-season trip and boss McGreal is keen to see his players work hard, ahead of the big kick-off on August 4.

McGreal told the Daily Gazette: “We’re hoping for a competitive pre-season.

“There are some good pre-season fixtures for us to look forward to.

“We’ve got a couple of different fixtures too, so it’ll hopefully be a lot more competitive than last time.

“We have four days away in Wales again as a squad which will be fantastic and very beneficial for us.

“It’s a chance for us to go away and train in a fantastic location and with new signings coming in, it gives everyone a chance to get to know each other better."

Colchester play their first friendly on July 7 when they travel to play Bostik League division north club Maldon and Tiptree, now managed by U's promotion hero Wayne Brown.

The U's begin the new campaign with a trip to play Notts County, on August 4.