FORMER Southend United midfielder Jack Payne is back in Essex after signing for Colchester United.

Payne came through the youth ranks at Roots Hall before going on to score 17 games in 88 games for the first team.

But the 29-year-old is now looking forward to lining up for the U's.

Payne told “I’ve worked with Danny and Nicky (Cowley) before and we keep in touch generally, so when the summer came and I became a free agent, discussions started taking place.

“It got cut short so I’m really excited to be working with them again, I really enjoyed the time I had with them and it was a massive factor in me signing.”

After leaving Blues in 2016, Payne has gone on to play for Huddersfield Town, Oxford United, Blackburn Rovers, Bradford City, Lincoln City, Swindon Town, Charlton Athletic and MK Dons