ARMANDO Dobra says he is ready to push himself to the next level at Colchester United after leaving his 'comfort zone' at Ipswich Town.

The talented 20-year-old joined the U's on a season-long loan from their League One neighbours last month, his first loan spell away from Portman Road.

Dobra rose through the academy ranks at Ipswich before making his senior debut for them, in August 2019.

And after making an impressive debut for Colchester in their Papa John's Trophy game against Gillingham last week, the skilful attacker says he is looking to nail down a place in Hayden Mullins' starting line-up.

Dobra said: "It's good to come out of my comfort zone.

"I've been at Ipswich for six years now so it's good to come out and learn my trade and take myself to the next level.

"I'm sure I can do that here.

"I'm here to fight for my place, try and break into the team and try and solidify my position in the squad and the team."

Dobra has made 30 league and cup appearances for Ipswich since making his first-team debut for them, two years ago.

He made three appearances for Town this season, prior to joining Colchester on transfer deadline day but boss Paul Cook made it clear he wanted the youngster to go out and play games.


"In pre-season, it was a case of stay and see how things go and try and break into the team," said Dobra, who was an unused substitute for the U's 3-2 win at Barrow, last Friday.

"But then at the end of pre-season, I had a chat with the gaffer and he said it's best for me to go out on loan and play as many games as I can.

"That was more likely for me if I went to a League Two team to play and when I heard that Colchester were interested, I was buzzing.

"I had an honest chat with the (Ipswich) gaffer and we both came to the decision that it was best for me to do that.

"There's a lot of players there now and with that, it's going to be hard to break into the team because there are so many players.

"This is an important part in my career where I need to be playing now because if I'm not playing, it's just going to halt my development.

"This is a very good opportunity for me.

"I didn't come here to be in a mid-table team.

"I'm here to try and get promotion and the ambition is good."

Dobra was the fifth Ipswich player to link up with Colchester, in the summer transfer window.

He followed in the footsteps of Luke Chambers, Alan Judge, Cole Skuse and Freddie Sears in making the short trip to the JobServe Community Stadium.

Dobra said: "There are a lot of familiar faces here for me - Judgey, Skusy, Chambo, Searsy and Tommy Smith.

"I knew Colchester was a good place to come even before I spoke to them.

"But I spoke to the boys as well and they gave me positive things about Colchester, so I'm happy to be here."