IT had been a largely depressing summer for U's fans, until the arrival of Freddie Sears - remember, he's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!

First we had the departures of Kayode Odejayi and Steven Gillespie, who both decided to drop down a level to League Two at Rotherham and Fleetwood respectively.

Then we had the exits of keeper Ben Williams and defender Magnus Okunoghae, who both turned down the offer of a new deal to find pastures new, wherever that might be.

This all added up to four key players leaving the U's, a big blow, not least because the club was left without a specialist senior striker on their books.

But the gathering clouds all lifted, with the arrival of Sears.

Judging by the comments left on Twitter, U's fans are very excited by the capture of Sears, and so they should be! And a three-year deal speaks volumes for the club.

Those doubting whether the club could attract big-name players, or at least attract players of rich talent, can push their doubts to one side.

In fact, it's the most exciting signing since Teddy Sheringham rolled into Layer Road, in the summer of 2007, ahead of the U's fateful second season in the Championship.

Teddy drew in the crowds, and the national journalists by the bucket-load, but he never really produced the goods during his swansong year.

Freddie, by contrast, is at the start of his career, not the end of it.

And unlike Teddy, who had nothing to prove, Freddie has everything to prove.

He has done little in the game yet, despite his massive potential.

I am looking forward to Freddie achieving some of that potential at Colchester over the next three years.

The U's still need to find a replacement for Okuonghae, in the heart of defence, and they still need at least one other striker and perhaps a winger.

But I'm suddenly counting down the days, in anticipation of the new campaign. 

Freddie can do what Teddy never managed to do - score lots of goals and frighten opposing defences.

Roll on next season!