COLCHESTER United legend Karl Duguid has taken charge at Heybridge Swifts following the departure of Julian Dicks.

Duguid will take over as boss of the Isthmian League division north side subject to ratification by the club’s committee, after Dicks quit his role to take up a coaching role at Championship side West Bromwich Albion.

Duguid was Dicks’ assistant during his reign at the Aspen Waite Arena and has been a member of the Heybridge backroom staff since June 2018.

The former U's captain, who made nearly 500 league and cup appearances for Colchester during two spells at the club, had formerly been manager of Essex Senior League side Stanway Rovers.

Swifts chairman Gary White told the Swifts website: “We have wasted no time in identifying Karl as the ideal replacement for Julian.

“Karl had a superb playing career and has built up a good deal of non-league experience now.

“Last season’s success was very much a double act with Julian and we hope the transition will be very smooth.

“Karl will be appointing an assistant manager in due course and we hope the new management team will be able to build on the legacy of Julian and his predecessor Jody Brown following two memorable seasons at the club.”

Dicks, who was appointed Swifts’ boss in October, has departed Heybridge to work alongside newly-appointed Albion boss Slaven Bilic.

The 50-year-old was a member of Bilic’s backroom staff while the Croatian was in charge at West Ham United and White was keen to wish Dicks well at the Championship club.

White said: “While we are disappointed to lose Julian after he did a superb job for our club last season, this opportunity is simply too good for him to miss.

“It gives him a chance to work again in the Premier League, where he was previously with Slaven at West Ham for two seasons until November 2017.

“We all wish him well in his new role and thank him for doing such a terrific job after coming in following a disappointing run of league and cup results.”

Dicks led Heybridge to Isthmian North play-off final success but was left frustrated as the non-league pyramid restructure resulted in Swifts still missing out on promotion last term.

Now Duguid will now prepare Swifts for the upcoming Isthmian North campaign after missing out on promotion last season by the finest of margins.

His first match in charge of the club will be the pre-season friendly at Essex Senior League side Walthamstow on Saturday, July 13.