MICHAEL Fernandes says signing for Colchester United and getting the opportunity to play in the Football League is a dream come true.

The 19-year-old winger, who has been training with John McGreal’s first-team squad since they returned for pre-season, has agreed a two-year deal with the U’s.

Fernandes started with the Middlesex-based Conquest Football Academy, before moving to Southern League side Farnborough in early 2018.

His performances have caught the eye of several professional clubs but now he has agreed his first-ever professional contract to play for Colchester.

Fernandes told the Gazette: “It’s really exciting and a different experience to the clubs that I’ve been at.

"I've played at Conquest at under-18 level and then with men’s football at Farnborough but not full-time.

“I’m glad that I’m here and I’m really pleased.

“It’s been the dream since I’ve been a little kid and working with the gaffer, giving kids the chance and it’s one that I’m willing to take.

“It’s been good to be in and around the squad and good for my motivation.

“Colchester like to play good football that’s entertaining so that will suit my game.

“Playing at Farnborough got me into men’s football and playing regularly, every week, scoring goals in front of fans – I enjoyed it.

“Moving to not only a new club but also a new area at the age of 19 is quite a lot to take in but it’s exciting and it’s the dream.”

Fernandes is described as a tricky winger or striker with pace to burn who can score goals.

He has been on the radar of several clubs and spent time with Ipswich Town, earlier this year.

Prior to that, Fernandes had a trial with Reading in the 2016-17 season and is considered a hot young prospect.

However, he says he is keen to progress his game and keep improving.

Fernandes added: “I had a little spell with Ipswich but Colchester got the deal done.

“That was a good experience.

“The main focus for me is to try and get Colchester into a higher league.

“I’m always willing to learn and improve.

“This is only the start and it’s going to go bigger and better really.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Diaz Wright has signed a new one-year deal to stay at Colchester.

The 21-year-old made 12 appearances for the U's, last season.