JOHN McGreal says more of Colchester United's young guns will follow in the footsteps of Andre Hasanally and break into his first team, this season.

Academy product Hasanally became the 900th player to represent the U's when he made his debut as a late substitute in their 1-1 draw with Port Vale, last weekend.

The talented 17-year-old former Thurstable School pupil, who has been at Colchester since he was 11 years old, is one of the latest batch of home-grown players to break into the club’s senior ranks.

And with the likes of Noah Chilvers, Ollie Kensdale and Louis Dunne also knocking on the door of the first team, U's head coach McGreal says he has no qualms with giving youth a chance in League Two.

McGreal said: "It’s important to have options and that’s why we’ve brought players in, not to mention the under-23s.

“We’ll see a lot more of those young faces coming into the team this year.

“It’s part of the club and what we do to keep it sustainable.

“It’s a directive from the club and we’re always looking for the next group to break through.

“That’s what I’ve been asked to do from above; to keep the club sustainable by getting players into the team and into the window. That’s what we do.”

Colchester made their second longest journey of the League Two season this weekend when they make the 580-mile round trip to play Plymouth Argyle.

The U's will be backed at Home Park by their loyal supporters on the road once again and boss McGreal says their support is invaluable, throughout the course of the campaign.

“I’ve always said that we need to have a relationship with the fans," added the U's boss.

“I’ve been so pro that connection between the players and supporters.

“As a player, you need the fans when things go a little bit awry. You need them to get behind you and give you a little bit of a kick up the backside.

“But also when things are going well, you need them to keep pushing you and get you over the line.

“They were with us throughout last season and they’ll there again this year.

“That’s the connection we have them and it’s great news that season-ticket sales are up.

“It shows what we’re trying to do at the football club.”