COLCHESTER United have signed Republic of Ireland midfielder Alan Judge on a two-year contract.

The 32-year-old has joined the U's after leaving Ipswich Town last month.

He joins Luke Chambers, Cole Skuse and Freddie Sears in making the switch from Portman Road to Colchester, this summer.

Judge said: "I'm delighted to be here.

"I'm glad it's done and I just want to get going.

"We'd been talking for quite a while and I had a few talks with my family and everything.

"This was the best option for me in every way, so it's great.

"Family is a major consideration - we've had a few problems off the pitch for the last few years, so that was a big thing for me.

"My kids are settled, this is a good club and I want to get this going and hopefully get into the play-offs again, this year."

Judge, who has made nine appearances for the Republic of Ireland, was out of the reckoning at Town prior to the season ending as he had made 29 league starts and a 30th would have triggered another year’s deal.

Judge, who has made more than 400 league and cup appearances, started his career at Blackburn Rovers.

He has had two loan spells at Plymouth Argyle before leaving Ewood Park in January 2011 to join Notts County, where he had also spent time on loan earlier in his career.

He made nearly 100 league and cup appearances during his time at Meadow Lane before leaving to re-join Blackburn on a free transfer, penning a three-year deal in the summer of 2013.

Judge again found games hard to come by at Ewood Park and moved to Brentford on loan in January 2014, playing 22 times before making the move permanent at the end of the 2013-14 season.

He stayed at Griffin Park for five years in total, helping them to win promotion to the Championship in 2014 and was at the West London club at the same time as current U's director of performance Jon De Souza, who was academy manager with the Bees until 2016.

Judge moved to Ipswich in January 2019 for an undisclosed fee and made 91 appearances for the Suffolk club in all competitions, scoring eight times.

He made 34 league appearances for Ipswich this season, including 29 starts and scored four goals.

But Judge did not feature after Town's 3-0 defeat at AFC Wimbledon on April 13 as he was one start away from automatically renewing his deal, prompting Ipswich boss Paul Cook to say at the time that the situation was "not ideal".