OMAR Sowunmi admits returning to his home town was a factor behind his decision to join Colchester United.

The 23-year-old defender, who has joined the U’s on a two-year deal, was born and raised in Colchester and attended Philip Morant School.

Sowunmi, a graduate of the Ipswich Town academy, has spent the past four years at Yeovil Town.

But the 6ft 6in centre-back is now back in north Essex and says he is delighted to be back in Colchester.

Sowunmi told the Gazette: “I’m ecstatic to join my home town team.

“It’s been a dream of mine since I first touched a football!

“Being able to come back to Colchester was of course a factor to me.

“I love my home - being surrounded by family and friends that have constantly supported me and now they get to support me on their doorstep.

“My target for the new season is to be constantly learning and progressing.

“I can’t wait to be surrounded by my new team and showing the fans what I’ve got.”

Sowunmi has played against Colchester for Yeovil on several occasions, including the 1-1 draw between the two clubs at Huish Park, in April.

The former Braintree Town loanee says he is an admirer of John McGreal’s side’s style of play.

“I love the way Colchester play - it’s something that can’t go unnoticed when you watch them,” said Sowunmi, who had a spell as Yeovil captain during his time with the Glovers.

“I’ve loved playing for the opposition against them as playing against a passionate team makes the game but now’s my time to be a part of it all.

Sowunmi made 88 league and cup appearances during his time at Huish Park, after joining them from Ipswich in 2015.

He added: “It was hard to leave Yeovil as they have been a massive part of my development but we have to look forward and I wish them the best of luck in the upcoming season.”