Freddie Sears admitted playing for Colchester United against his former club West Ham United was a “bit surreal”.

Sears played for new club Colchester in their 2-1 pre-season friendly defeat against the Hammers, for whom he made more than 50 senior appearances and represented for more than a decade at youth and senior level.

The 22-year-old, who left Upton Park only last month, was given a rousing reception from both U’s and West Ham fans when his name was announced prior to kick-off at the Weston Homes Community Stadium .

The Colchester striker conceded it was an unusual experience to line up against his former employers.

Sears said: “It was a little bit strange to play against my old team-mates so soon after leaving West Ham.

“It was a little bit surreal but it was a good experience.

“It was nice to see the boys again and good to play against West Ham for Colchester.

“It was nice to get that reception from both sets of fans.

“I’d been at West Ham for a long time and I had a good relationship with the fans there.

“The Colchester fans have taken to me too and I just can’t wait to get going now.”

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