WHEN Colchester United confirmed the capture of Emyr Huws prior to their game against Barrow on Saturday, the inevitable reaction from some was to refer to the fact that the midfielder is the latest former Ipswich Town player to arrive at the JobServe Community Stadium.

After all, the Wales international became the tenth ex-Town player in the current U's squad after joining them on a free transfer on a deal until the end of the season.

But there is also another less obvious link between Huws and his new club.

The former Manchester City youngster is familiar to Colchester head coach Hayden Mullins, with the pair having been former team-mates at Birmingham City, in the 2013-2014 campaign.

While Mullins was at that point perhaps in the twilight of his career during his stint at St Andrew's, a youthful Huws was just starting out as a fresh-faced 21-year-old.

The pair played alongside one another in the Championship with Blues, so Mullins will know full well what his new signing is capable of.

"His history and quality will tell you that he's a good player," said Mullins.


"If we can get him right, he'll be an asset for us.

"Emyr looks really fit and he's been keeping himself ticking over really well.

"He's been training with us for the last two or three days."

Huws' footballing history with Mullins is not his only connection to Colchester's coaching team.

During a loan spell at Huddersfield Town from Wigan Athletic in the 2015-16 season, he played under Chris Powell and his number two Alex Dyer, who is the U's assistant manager.

Huws played 31 times for the Terriers that season in the Championship and is looking to recapture that kind of form with his new club Colchester.

"I'm delighted to be here first and foremost - it's nice to be back playing," he told Col U TV.

"It came about quite quickly.


"I spoke to them and I've been enjoying training.

"I've signed until the end of the season and I'm looking forward to it.

"The short-term aim is to get up to full match fitness as quickly as possible, get into the team and play as many games as possible.

"That's the goal and I think I'll get there pretty quickly and hopefully help the team start winning some games. "I just want to get back to playing matches and get that match fitness again, so I'm looking forward to that."

Huws was an unused substitute for Colchester's home defeat against Barrow, on Saturday.

The 28-year-old is hoping to make his U's debut when they take on high-flying Sutton United, tomorrow night.

Huws, who has 11 full caps with Wales, has not played a competitive match since featuring for Ipswich in their 3-2 home defeat to Swindon Town in January, 2021.

However, he has been keeping himself fit and has recently been training with the U's, prior to securing his move until the end of the season.


"It's been pretty seamless, to be honest," added Huws, who once scored for Wales in a friendly against a Netherlands side featuring the likes of Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben and Georgi Wijnaldum.

"I've kept myself fit, so I'm ready to go.

"It's always nice to see some familiar faces and the rest of the boys are top; they've been really welcoming as well.

"I'm looking forward to getting to know all of the boys.

"It's a good team and there's some talent in the squad, for sure.

"From what I've seen, I think it's just a case of putting it in the net and creating a lot of chances and I think that will come."