IT was seen by some as a last throw of the dice by boss Aidy Boothroyd, in Colchester United's bid to make the League One play-offs.

The U's capture of Premier League star Franck Queudrue on loan from Birmingham City on March 25, 2010 certainly came out of the blue.

The 31-year-old's first game in the 2009-10 season had been at Old Trafford in the Premier League, playing against Manchester United.

His final match that campaign ended up being for Colchester in League One against Millwall - and it also proved to be his last-ever game in English football.

Queudrue had been signed by the U's for the rest of the season, as they looked to keep their faint play-off hopes alive.

The former Fulham defender had won the League Cup with Middlesbrough six years earlier and a UEFA Cup runners-up medal in 2006.

But he had not played since turning out for Birmingham in their Premier League defeat at Burnley, five months earlier.

Queudrue, who had been Birmingham's player of the year the previous season, turned down a number of other clubs to join Colchester.

"Something is going on at Colchester and you can feel it," he told the Gazette after completing his move to the U's.

"I hope I can play a part in something special here.

"I hope to fulfil what Aidy Boothroyd expects from me and what I expect from myself.

"And it will be good to get some competitive games under my belt.

"I had a few other options. Some of the clubs were in mid-table with nothing to play for.

"But I am a competitor and I want to play for a team that will bring the best out of me.

"Some people will say bad things (because of dropping down to League One) because I am getting old!

"But there's a great challenge to take on at Colchester, with the chairman, the new ground and the new training ground.

"If I can help them in the last few weeks of the season, that would be great.

"Like any professional, I want to be playing first team football.

"There's a bit of frustration involved because you want to be part of the team.

"That's what you are paid to do but I wanted to go somewhere with objectives."

Queudrue revealed boss Boothroyd played a major part in persuading him to drop down two divisions.

"I spoke to him and the club - we had a conversation," said the Frenchman.

"It was a big decision but I know the manager has done well in the past.

"I spoke to some players who worked with him at Watford and they had good things to say about him and said he was a good man.

"I want to play for a team that will bring the best out of me."

Sadly, the move did not really work out for either Colchester or Quedrue.

Injury restricted the Paris-born defender to just three games for the U's and he did not taste victory during his short time at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Queudrue made his U's debut in a 1-1 home draw against Wycombe Wanderers, before featuring in back to back defeats against Exeter City and Millwall over the Easter period.

After suffering injury, he reported back to his parent club Birmingham before returning to his first club Lens the following season.

He made nine appearances for Lens and then joined Paris-based second tier club Red Star on a free transfer in 2012, before retiring at the end of the 2012-13 season.

Queudrue stayed in the game after that and went into player recruitment.

Colchester missed out on the play-offs that season, finishing eighth in League One.

Boothroyd departed a few weeks later to take over at Championship outfit Coventry City.