John Ward is impressed by Francis Laurent’s desire to play for Colchester United.

The 24-year-old, who was released by Essex rivals Southend United at the end of last season, is a free agent and is training with the U’s this week.

Laurent received a phone call while he was in Paris from Colchester boss Ward on Monday, inviting him to come and train with his squad.

The pacey forward then dashed across the channel, in order to report for training with the npower League One club.

Ward told the Gazette: “We invited Francis to come and train with us on Monday and he trained with us on Tuesday.

“When we phoned him on Monday at 6pm, he was still in Paris.

“But after we invited him to come and train he was here by 9am on Tuesday morning and by 10.15am, he was training with the boys.

“I think that shows how committed he is to coming to play for us.”

For more on this story, see today's Gazette.