FREDDIE Sears says it is a special feeling to be back at Colchester United after sealing his return to the club.

The 31-year-old, who made more than 100 appearances for the U’s between 2012 and 2015, has returned to the JobServe Community Stadium on a two-year deal following his release by Ipswich Town.

Sears, who scored 36 times in his first spell at Colchester, will play under new boss and his former West Ham United team-mate, Hayden Mullins.

He joins his ex-Ipswich team-mates Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse in joining the U’s, this summer.

Sears told Col U TV: “I’m delighted.

“It means more coming back and I’m just raring to get going now.

“Coming back to the stadium and training ground and seeing everyone again makes it feel special and I’m raring to get going again.

“I had a good time at Ipswich – I was there for six years after leaving from here.

“They’re a great club and they’re obviously going in a different direction now.

“The Colchester move came around quite quickly.

“I had a bit of interest in January which was close to happening but for whatever reason, it didn’t happen at the time.

“As soon as it was announced that I would be leaving Ipswich, I spoke to Hayden and Bally (Steve Ball) pretty quickly and the deal managed to get done.

“There’s been holidays and a few weeks waiting but I’m glad it’s done now.

“Coming back to Colchester has always been something for me, even when I left the club six years ago.

“I’ve always said I’d love to come back one day.

“I feel like this is a club where I’ve made my name.

“My debut at West Ham is where I’m known from but this is the club where I played week in, week out and made my name in football.

“I feel like I owe the club and I’m glad to be back.

“I spoke to Hayden, Jon (De Souza), Robbie (Cowling) and Bally (Steve Ball) and as soon as I spoke to them, I just wanted to get it done really.

“You have a few offers and stuff like that but the timing was just perfect.”


Sears is now one of six former Ipswich players in the current Colchester squad.

Along with Chambers and Skuse, long-serving defender Tom Eastman, goalkeeper Dean Gerken and experienced centre-back Tommy Smith were already U’s players.

Sears said: “I spoke to Easty last season – I saw him in Marks and Spencer over the road and we had a good catch up.

“He’s been here a long time and I also know Chambo, Skusy, Deano and Tommy Smith.

“I think it’s going to be easy to come in and settle in straight away but I think I would have been able to do that anyway.

“I’m really looking forward to it now and can’t wait for the first day of pre-season.

“You have that little break at the start and it’s really nice and luckily, I got to go on holiday this year which was great.

“But then after that, you train on your own, you run on treadmills and in the park on your own.

"I’m just raring to get back now and get in with the boys and get ready for the new season ahead.”


Sears made 217 league and cup appearances for Ipswich over a six-and-a-half year spell at the Suffolk club, after joining them from Colchester in 2015.

The experienced forward, who made 29 league and cup appearances for Town last season, had been linked with a move back to the U’s last January.

He added: “It was a strange season, last year.

“The boys started off fine and it looked like a normal season but for whatever reason, it just seemed to go downhill.

“I had a little bit of interest in January so after that, I kept an eye on the team and probably saw it from a fans’ perspective which wasn’t great, at times.

“I remember watching the Oldham game on iFollow and thinking this might not be too good at the end.

"But thankfully, Hayden and Tis (Paul Tisdale) came in last year and the boys managed to do it.

“They finished the season really positively – last season has gone and we’re looking forward to a new challenge.”