STEVE Ball's experience "on the front line" made him the perfect choice to become head coach at Colchester United.

That's the view of director of football Tony Humes, who watched on as the club's former assistant manager was unveiled as the U's new boss at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

It was a groundbreaking moment for Ball, who played for the club in two spells and worked in various coaching roles before spending four years as right-hand man to ex-boss John McGreal.

And Humes, himself a former manager at the club, believes he deserves the opportunity to step up and shine in his own right.

He said: "In the current circumstances, and given the uncertainty in terms of when things are going to get back to normal, the major thing for us is running with things we're comfortable with.

"There are things we're looking at that we have to put in place, because of the financial impact of the pandemic.

"We have to think about how we move forward, so needed a smooth transition in terms of our next head coach.

"Steve's been assistant manager for the last four years so he's got experience of being on the front line.

"He knows what's expected, rather than going in cold, and we know him inside out.

"We know what his strengths and weaknesses are and, as a group of directors, we'll support him in every way he needs."

Football has rightly taken a back seat in recent months as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic.

Last season was curtailed and the U's League Two campaign ended in disappointment, as they suffered defeat in their two-legged play-off semi-final against Exeter City.

However, Humes hopes and believes exciting times could lie ahead.

"It's a fresh start and any change is exciting," said the former defender.

"The thing we're really looking forward to, though, is crowds being able to come back.

"That'll be the best thing.

"It's not the same without them, as we've seen from watching the end of the Premier League and Championship seasons on the TV.

"Hopefully it can be sorted quickly and we can start to move forward together.

"Our supporters will see what Steve's about and get behind him. I've got no doubt about that."