NEW head coach Steve Ball plans to tap into the knowledge and experience around him at Colchester United.

The 50-year-old has replaced John McGreal and was unveiled at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

He is excited about the challenge ahead and even though he is unfazed by the challenge, he has every intention of making use of the support network around him.

"There's been loads going on, with lots of good, important meetings about the way forward," said former Stanway Rovers boss Ball.

"That will continue and there's a really good support network here - experienced people that have been in the game a long time and ex-managers.

"They have great ideas and I'll definitely be tapping into those people to help me.

"There are people to tap into and work with and that hard work will carry on, without doubt."

The U's players found out about Ball's appointment on Tuesday morning.

And the club's new boss, who had previously been assistant manager, says he has a great relationship with his squad.

He said: "Part of my role here in the last four years was to build up that relationship with the players.

"You earn respect from how you work and coach and I like to think I have good bonds with the players.

"I'm sure that will continue, but they have to be prepared to work hard."

Coincidentally, Ball is the first-ever Colchester-born man to take charge of the U’s.

He played for the club in two spells, making 75 appearances, and made his Football League debut with Colchester.

However, he began his career with Arsenal, where he won the FA Youth Cup in 1988.

That successful team also included prolific striker Kevin Campbell, who later played for Everton and whose son, Tyrese, now plays for Stoke City.