COLCHESTER United are aiming to strengthen their squad, this summer.

The U’s are closely monitoring the transfer market with a view to making signings.

Colchester see a striker, central defender and goalkeeper as the main positions they are ideally looking to bolster, if the right deals are there.

But head coach Steve Ball also intends to give their young players such as Ollie Kensdale and Jake Hutchinson a chance to shine and stake a claim in those positions, in pre-season.

The likes of Frank Nouble, Luke Prosser and Ryan Jackson all left the U's, this summer.

And Colchester are yet to add to their squad for next season, with this summer’s transfer window proving a very different financial climate for EFL clubs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But in an ever-changing market place, the U’s are planning for all eventualities in this window, as they get to grips with a difficult financial landscape.

And along with new faces arriving, that could also potentially mean players departing the JobServe Community Stadium, this summer.

A number of Colchester's talented young players such as Cohen Bramall and Kwame Poku caught the eye last season and in the play-off games against Exeter.

U’s boss Ball said: “It’s something that we’re continually looking at with recruitment.

“We’re looking at things as we move along, as we would in any pre-season.

“There are some really good players out there looking; we’re looking at them and they’re looking at us.

“We’re looking at the market place and what happens with our squad.

“There’s going to be opportunities in pre-season for people to stake a claim.

“We have some young players who will be given opportunities in those positions.”

Colchester will stage an in-house 11v11 game today and have started contact training, in line with Covid-19 guidelines.

The U’s players have been working hard in the heat at Florence Park, as they build up towards the new League Two season.

“The heat is difficult for the boys to work in but it’s the same for everybody, so you just get through it,” added Ball.

“We had a double session (on Monday).

“The heat is stifling; luckily it was more of a tactical day so it wasn’t too heavy on the legs.

“But we had a really, really hard day on Saturday so we gave them a bit more of a tactical day (on Monday).

“We did some shape work, some phases and patterns.

“We’re at stage two now, so we’re contact training.

“It’s still monitored carefully but we’re getting in the contact work now.”