MILES Welch-Hayes says he is hungry to get going for his new club after signing for Colchester United.

The 23-year-old full-back has completed a move to the U’s as a free agent following his departure from their League Two rivals Macclesfield Town, on January 31.

Welch-Hayes, who can play at either right-back or left-back or as a right-sided centre-half, has bolstered Colchester’s defensive options, after signing a contract with them until the summer of 2022.

And now that he has sealed a move to the JobServe Community Stadium, the former Oxford United youngster says he cannot wait to embark on a new chapter in his career with the promotion-chasing U’s.

Welch-Hayes said: “I’m very happy to be here.

“It’s good to get it sorted and I’m hungry to get playing.

“I first heard there was interest from Colchester in the first transfer window (summer 2019).

“Colchester are a very good team, as every team in League Two knows.

“When you play against Colchester, it’s a very tough game.

“They’ve got a big name and a lot of teams fear them, which is another reason why I want to be at a club like this with good players.

“It’s a big club and hopefully, I can help them to push on even more.

“We can definitely still achieve automatic promotion, this season.

“That’s another reason why I want to be here and hopefully, I can come here and help us push on and achieve that.”

Welch-Hayes began his career at Oxford United but made only one senior appearance during his time at the Kassam Stadium.

The defender left the League One club in 2017 and joined non-league outfit Bath City on a permanent basis, making the National League South team of the season for 2017-18.

During a loan spell from Bath, Welch-Hayes played in the Oxford City side that knocked Colchester out of the FA Cup at the first-round stage in November, 2017.

He left Bath to join Macclesfield on a two-year deal in June, 2018 and made 47 league appearances for the Silkmen, before becoming one of three players to leave the troubled club on February 1.

“It was time for me to move on,” added Welch-Hayes, who is not expected to be involved in Colchester’s game at Salford City tomorrow.

“It was tough with what was going on but I was still playing at Macclesfield.

“I was out of contract (at Macclesfield) and had a few other options but I think Colchester is the best club for me.”