PROMISING Colchester United youngster Reuben Mudd is hoping a club legend has helped him find the right pathway in the game.

The 17-year-old forward, who is looking to continue his progress within the U's academy this season as a second-year scholar, was snapped up by the club three years ago after impressing during a trial at Kem Izzet's Soccer Academy.

It also led to Mudd scoring two goals in three starts during a loan spell at Stanway Rovers last season under Izzet and fellow former U's favourite Karl Duguid, during the pair's spell in charge at the Hawthorns.

Now with the Professional Development League about to get underway again, the former Tendring Technology College student is aiming to kick on further and fulfil the potential that Izzet - and Colchester - see in him.

Mudd said: “I’ve known Kem since I was 13 – I was playing for his soccer school and it gave me a pathway to Colchester.

“I scored two goals in a session and I got a call on my way home telling me that Colchester wanted to bring me in for a trial.

“I took a bit of a confidence knock last season and dropped form a bit but over Christmas, I was at Stanway with Kem Izzet and Karl Duguid and that brought me on massively.

“Playing men’s football was very beneficial for me and there’s a massive difference between that and academy football.

“I was there for a month and a half, before I got recalled and it was the best time of my season while I was there."

Mudd was a prolific goalscorer for Holland FC at youth level, scoring 62 goals and registering 25 assists in just 33 appearances in his first season for the coastal club.

The clinical attacker has gone on to score more than 70 goals since joining the U's academy, earning him a promotion to the club's under-23 side in the Premier League Cup last season.

Mudd is now hoping to catch the eye of the club's new under-23 boss Kevin Horlock - and catch the eye again.

“I’m looking forward to the new season and fingers crossed, I can be playing for the under-23 side," added Mudd, who grew up in Clacton.

“If Kevin Horlock was to give me the chance to step up to that level, I’d relish it.

“But if that doesn’t happen, then I’m happy to be playing for the under-18s and carry on improving.

“The club have been very good.

“Ipswich and Norwich both showed interest but I chose Colchester, because I’d rather be somewhere where there’s a clear pathway from schoolboy level to the first team, if you work hard enough.

“They’ve shown that they like to bring you through early at Colchester and the coaches have been great there, with their individual learning programmes.

“If you go to a member of the coaching team, the good thing is that they give you feedback."