John McGreal: Colchester United appoint under-21 boss as first-team coach

John McGreal
John McGreal has been at Colchester United since 2009

Colchester United have appointed their under-21 boss John McGreal as the club's new first-team coach.

The 43-year-old former Tranmere and Ipswich defender replaces Kevin Keen, who left last week after the club's relegation to League Two was confirmed.

McGreal becomes the third recent boss to step up to the first team having previously worked in the youth set up, following Joe Dunne and Tony Humes.

Colchester's under-21s finished fourth in their league this season.

Keen left his position three days after Colchester's relegation to the fourth tier was confirmed by 23 April's 3-0 home defeat by Burton.

The former West Ham coach only won five out of 24 games in charge, having replaced Humes on 21 December.

Colchester relegated
Colchester's 19-match winless League One run between 20 October and 1 March contributed to their relegation this campaign

"It's obviously a negative to get relegated, but I think it's a great time to come in and get Colchester United moving in the right direction again," said McGreal.

He had a one-game spell in joint-caretaker charge of the U's with Richard Hall, but the duo were replaced by a single caretaker in Richard Hall after a 5-1 loss to Burton.

McGreal, who has signed an undisclosed-length contract, will be assisted by Steve Ball.

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