COLCHESTER United's youngsters will have benefited hugely from being with the first-team squad for their final game of the season.

That is the view of U's interim head coach Hayden Mullins, who feels the club's fledgling stars will have gained a lot from being elevated to the senior ranks, last weekend.

A host of under-23 players travelled with the Colchester first-team squad to Tranmere Rovers for the last game of their League Two campaign, which ended in a 0-0 draw.

Tom Stagg, 18, came off the bench to make his senior debut after replacing Frank Nouble in the final stages of the goal-less draw, at Prenton Park.

Harvey Sayer also came on as a late substitute in the game, while Sam Cornish, Billy Cracknell, Callum Coulter and Junior Tchamadeu were also among the substitutes and goalkeeper Ted Collins also travelled.

They were joined at the game by U's academy manager Dave Huzzey, who also made the trip to Prenton Park.

Mullins said: “It’s all part of the development for the younger lads, to see how the boys prepare.

“It started at 7.30am in the morning – this one was a long journey and we came up on the day which we don’t always do.

“It’s a chance for them to get a chance to see what the boys go through.

“Sometimes, they just see it on TV or on iFollow or whatever it is and see the lads out there and think everything is pretty. "But our journey started at 7.30 this morning, an early breakfast at the stadium and we travelled up.

“So there are bits there that go into it which will be good for them to be exposed to.”