COLCHESTER United defender Omar Sowunmi means business at his new club - and insists his summer switch was about more than just coming home.

The 23-year was born in the town and educated at Hamilton Primary School - around the corner from the U's former Layer Road ground - before joining Philip Morant School.

He admits the chance to return home was a key factor behind his decision to sign a two-year deal in early July.

However, he insists it was primarily a career move and one that gives him every opportunity to enjoy success.

The U's begin their League Two campaign with a home match against Port Vale tomorrow - and Sowunmi is hoping for his first taste of competitive action at the JobServe Community Stadium.

“I’m really excited and it’s great to start with a home game, so I can hopefully play in front of all the supporters," said the former Ipswich Town academy player, who has spent the past four years at Yeovil Town.

“It’s going to be special for me and I’m really looking forward to it.

“I’ve got ten to 15 people coming to watch. Family and friends, so it’s going to be a special occasion.

“The chance to come home was one of the big factors in coming here.

“I’ve been away from my family for quite a while now.

“It’s very nice and obviously no-one wants to be away from their parents.

“I’ve got a little brother who lives here, too, so it’s great being around him more.

"It was one of the reasons I wanted to join but certainly not the only one.

“I have to think of my career and what’s good for me going forward.

"I believe this is the right move for me at the right time in my career."

Aside from his memories growing up in the town and watching his new club, Sowunmi has tangible evidence of his connection with the U's.

“The other day my mum found an old Junior U’s card, from when I was about eight," said the towering 6ft 6in centre-back.

“It looks like an old bus pass now!

“I used to go to Shrub End and do some training there, before I went to Ipswich.

“I remember going to the old ground, too, although I was very young.

"It was always packed and the atmosphere was great."

Now Sowunmi is keen to look to the future - rather than reflecting on the past - and that hopefully starts with three points against Vale.

He hopes to play his part in helping the club make a strong start and says his move - and the adjustment to new surroundings - has gone as well as possible.

“It’s hard coming into any team but I have a very good relationship with (head coach) John McGreal," said the former Braintree Town loanee, who spent a month with the Iron in 2014.

“Everyone’s been great.

“Obviously there have been quite a few new boys coming in but we’ve gelled on and off the pitch, which is important.

“It’s gone very well.

“When you come to a new club, you see that it’s run differently.

“Training’s different but it’s just something you have to get used to and it's been going very well.

“What happened last season (missing out on the play-offs on the final day of the season) is in the backs of people’s heads, in terms of what they could have achieved.

“But everyone here is looking forward now and what we’re going to achieve this season – starting with three points tomorrow."