COLCHESTER United performance director Jon De Souza says they hope to appoint a new assistant manager in 'the near future'.

The U's are looking to bring in a new number two to work alongside Steve Ball, following his promotion to the head coach position.

Ball worked for four years as assistant manager alongside John McGreal, prior to being appointed boss last month.

Colchester are now looking to draft in a number two for Ball and are hoping to make an announcement soon.

De Souza said: “The assistant manager position is something we’re working hard on.

“We hope to be in a position to make an announcement in the near future but at the moment, there’s no further details on that."

Colchester are currently preparing for the new League Two season, which kicks off on September 12.

It has been less than two months since the U's were last in action, in their play-off matches against Exeter City.

Colchester's players and staff have already experienced what it is like to play and train within the Covid-19 restrictions and testing protocols that exist - along with having to play games behind closed doors.

And with the EFL season set to start with games being played in empty stadiums, De Souza believes their recent experiences could prove to be an advantage.

He said: “A lot of League Two clubs have obviously had four or five months off, before returning.

"But we had a month where we were able to top players’ fitness up during that period.

“We’re also a lot more prepared in terms of how testing works, how the stages of returning to training work and to a certain degree playing without fans, although I think most teams will have friendlies and something similar.

“But we did play two competitive games behind closed doors and I think (having to do) that will be a shock to most.

“I’m hoping it will be an advantage but only time will tell."

Colchester are yet to make a new signing this summer but the club are working hard on bringing fresh faces to the squad.

“We’re very excited about the players we’ve got in the building and that’s very much our focus at the moment," added De Souza.

“If opportunity arises in the future and circumstances change then we’ll deal with that, as and when.

“But at the moment, we’re very much focusing on our group of players, getting the best out of them and preparing them as well as possible for the first day of the season."