ONE Colchester United youngster in particular caught the eye of boss John McGreal in their opening pre-season friendly of the summer.

Attacker Andre Hasanally was singled out for special praise by the U’s head coach, following his eye-catching second-half display in their 2-0 victory at Bowers and Pitsea.

The skilful 17-year-old, who spent time training with Colchester’s first team in the second part of last season before picking up an untimely injury, played in the number ten role behind Luke Norris.

The skilful U’s academy player looked bright and confident in possession, much to McGreal’s satisfaction.

McGreal said: “The big story for me coming out of it was the emergence of another player in Andre Hasanally.

“I thought his performance was excellent, in the second half.

“He gave us those Szmodics-type runs which we’ve all been accustomed to for a number of years.

“Andre had been training with the first team, in the early part of last season.

“He’d been in and around it but he had a lengthy injury which hampered him.

“He’s come back and he’s been given an opportunity.

“We took him out of the under-18s the day before the (Bowers) match and got him involved with us.

“It just gives us good energy and good legs in that area.

“It’s going to break down at times with the young boys but that’s going to happen.

“The boys will have to contend with bits from the senior boys when it does break down because there are standards we’ve set, which we’re trying to get back to in pre-season.”

Colchester’s players have been training over the weekend and are back on duty today, as they continue their preparations for the new League Two season.

The U’s continue their summer friendly programme when they travel to play National League South side Dulwich Hamlet tomorrow night, before embarking on a pre-season break at Carden Park in Cheshire, this weekend.

McGreal added: “I’m delighted with the fitness levels - no problem at all.

“The boys have hit all of the stats having spoken to (sports scientist) Perry (Blanchette).

“The friendly matches are an extension of the fitness levels of the training, so delighted with that.”