DIAZ Wright has been missing from the Colchester United squad for their opening two friendlies of pre-season.

The midfielder agreed a new one-year deal to stay at the U's earlier this month.

But the 21-year-old did not feature in the U's 2-0 wins at Dulwich Hamlet and Bowers and Pitsea.

Wright, who made 12 first-team appearances for Colchester last season, has been absent as he missed the start of pre-season prior to signing his new contract.

That meant that the former Braintree Town loanee underwent his mandatory screening that is undertaken by all professional footballers prior to the start of a season after the rest of the U's squad.

“Diaz had to have his mandatory screening which has meant he wasn’t able to train with us from the start," said U's head coach John McGreal.

“It’s put him a little bit behind the other lads but he will be involved soon."

Colchester's squad are currently in Cheshire for their pre-season training camp, at Carden Park.

The U's are due to play their next friendly when they take on Welsh Premier League side Cefn Druids, on Saturday (kick-off 1pm).

Meanwhile, boss McGreal believes Sammie Szmodics and Frankie Kent have been rewarded for their hard work after earning moves to higher-placed clubs.

The former U's academy duo left the club last month, with Szmodics signing for Championship club Bristol City and Kent linking up with Peterborough United, in League One.

McGreal coached the pair from academy up to first-team and says the duo served the U's well.

He said: “They implement our personality from the touchline onto the pitch, with the way they have performed.

“They are both players who are willing to listen and learn and I’m a firm believer that if you do that, you’ll get your rewards.

“You only have to look at the way Sammie performs on the pitch, with the way in which he chases things down and the work he puts in for his team."