COLCHESTER United are looking to appoint a new under-23 boss after Kevin Horlock quit the club to take over as Needham Market's academy manager.

Horlock, who had been in charge of the U's under-23 side for the past year after taking over from Wayne Brown in the role last summer, has signed an initial three-year contract with the Suffolk club.

The former Manchester City and West Ham United favourite helped launch Needham's academy eight years ago, spending four years as their academy manager.

Horlock then left to join Colchester and had a spell in charge of their alliance club Maldon and Tiptree.

The former Northern Ireland international also worked as the U's under-23 assistant manager at the JobServe Community Stadium alongside Brown for two years.

Horlock then made the reverse switch from Maldon boss to Colchester under-23 manager, last summer.

But he has stood in as Needham's academy manager over recent months, following U's legend Steve Foley’s departure due to ill health and has now joined the Evo-Stik Southern League Central Premier Division club on a permanent basis.

Horlock told the Needham Market website: “I have loved my time with Colchester United but I have always had a strong affinity with Needham Market FC and when the opportunity arose to return it was one I could not turn down.”

Colchester will now be looking to appoint a new under-23 boss, with current under-18 manager Chris Llewellyn favourite to take the role.