ANDRE Hasanally is hoping to seize his opportunity after playing a prominent role in Colchester United’s pre-season so far.

The talented 17-year-old attacker has featured in all four of the U’s warm-up games so far and is expected to play in their friendly with Ipswich Town, tomorrow night.

Hasanally, who has been at Colchester since he was 11 years old, is hoping to be one of the latest batch of home-grown players to break into the club’s senior ranks – and says he is enjoying his chance to shine.

Hasanally told the Gazette: “Pre-season is going well and I’m getting a lot of minutes, so far.

“I feel like I’m working my way into the team quite well and settling in, in the last few games.

“It’s a good opportunity for me to break into the first team and play some games – I’ve got the support and the backing and I just need to prove myself.

“The key is to sustain it because once you drop it in one game, you might find yourself out of the team.

“I’ve had some good help from the gaffer and Bally (Steve Ball) and they’ve been supporting me a lot.

“The players have too and they’ve been egging me on.

“I know that I have to work hard and be better than my competitors, I guess.”

Hasanally was on the verge of breaking into Colchester’s first-team squad in the final months of last season, before an injury hampered his opportunity.

The talented teenager is now hoping to take his latest chance and is keen to match his more senior opponents.

“I hope I’ve done enough to get into the squad for the Ipswich game,” said Hasanally, who was a pupil at Thurstable School, in Tiptree.

“I’ve got to keep my fitness levels up, especially as I’m up against players who are a lot bigger and older than me.

“It’s a lot different to the under-18 games and a lot more competitive.”

Hasanally played in a left-sided role for Colchester after coming on as a half-time substitute in their 3-0 friendly win at Wealdstone, on Tuesday night.

The youngster has also played in a central position for the U’s in pre-season and says he is comfortable playing anywhere in attack.

“I prefer to play as a number ten but I also don’t mind it on the wing,” added Hasanally, who is from Bishop’s Stortford.

“The gaffer just wants to me to keep getting on the ball and make things happen and if I do lose the ball, keep going.”