U's break club record for Coote

COLCHESTER United have equalled their club record transfer fee by splashing out £50,000 on Norwich City striker Adrian Coote.

COLCHESTER United have equalled their club record transfer fee by splashing out £50,000 on Norwich City striker Adrian Coote.

The move is subject to results of a medical later today but it appears Steve Whitton has finally got his man after tracking the Northern Ireland Under-21 international for months.

Once it goes through the transfer will equal the £50,000 paid to Ipswich Town for striker Neil Gregory, who is now at Dagenham and Redbridge.

Coote was the Avon Combination league's top scorer last season when he banged in 23 goals for the Cnaries but he continued to find first-eam chances limited.

He is now relishing the opportunity of getting in among the first-team goals and repaying Whitton's faith in him.

Coote, who will sign a two-and-a-half year contract, said: "It is tremendous for my confidence that someone wants me enough to pay a record transfer fee.

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"I can't wait to get to Colchester and meet my new team mates and nail down a first-team place.

"I know that won't be easy because Colchester already have some very good players but Steve Whitton has shown faith in me and I want to repay him by doing what I'm good at and that is scoring goals."

Coote, 23, went through the ranks at Carrow Road and made his senior debut against Port Vale in September 1997 but has only made 61 first-team appearances, 40 of them as a substitute.

Coote played against Colchester for Norwich City reserves and that confirmed his fitness for the U's.

He said: "I had heard Colchester were interested in me. They play good attractive football and like to pass the ball which suits my game.

"It has been a move I have wanted for some time so hopefully when the medical is completed I will put pen to paper and get to meet the lads.

"I'm looking forward to the new challenge, it is like starting my career really. I can't wait to meet the lads and I will move to Colchester for a complete fresh start."

At 6'3'' Coote will give the U's some much needed height up front.

U's boss Whitton said: "Adrian will give us a different option up front. When teams defend deep it is important to have someone up front to keep the ball for us.

"He is a big lad and a fit, hard working player who can score goals.

"Norwich have decided he is not what they want as they go for the Premiership but if he does well for Colchester there is no telling what he may move on to."

Although born in Great Yarmouth, Coote has Irish roots and has won six Under-21 caps for Northern Ireland.