James Bransgrove, who turned his back on professional football in December to pursue a career outside the game, has signed for Chelmsford City.
After starting out with Brentford, Bransgrove was part of the successful Colchester United youth team of 2014 that won the league and cup `double` and appeared in the Youth Alliance Cup final as the under-18s beat Bradford City 4-2 at Valley Parade.
He made his U’s first-team debut at the end of the 2015/16 season in the 2-1 defeat to Rochdale at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
He also appeared once for the U’s this season in the Checkatrade Trophy Group game against Southampton under-23s and has had loan spells with Bishop`s Stortford, Maldon & Tiptree and Wealdstone.
His time with the U`s also included call-ups for Scotland under-18s and under-21s.
But in December he decided that his future path lies outside of sport.
He said at the time: “It’s something on my mind for a while, regarding my future in football.
“I’ve been doing a part-time Business Management degree with the Open University over the past eighteen months and it’s been going better than expected.
“I’ve really enjoyed it and I’ve always had a passion for the accountancy side of business, so I think now is the right time to make that call.
“It’s a big decision and I’ve thought about it long and hard with family and friends but it feels right.
“I know that almost every boy would want to be a professional footballer, but I’ve always been a footballer because I’ve been lucky enough to have had that talent.
“Truthfully, I’ve not just felt that desire to play and that was a big part of it as well. If I don’t eat and sleep football, I won’t get too much further in game and that was the tipping point in the decision.
“I originally spoke to George Bankole and then Tony Humes and they both made sure it was definitely the choice I wanted to make. The club have been very supportive and I can’t thank them enough”.