Former Watford goalkeeper Rene Gilmartin has joined Colchester United in a dual role that will see him take on coaching duties with the League Two club.

The 30-year-old, who had two spells with the Hornets, made the move after his contract at Vicarage Road expired at the end of last month and he will provide competition for U’s stoppers Sam Walker and Dillon Barnes.

Popularly known as Reg, the Dublin-born keeper will also take on first-team coaching duties following the departure of Ademola ‘George’ Bankole during the close season.

Colchester director of football Tony Humes told the club website: "We have signed Rene Gilmartin as player/coach in another part of the restructuring of the club.

"Rene will provide goalkeeping competition for Sam Walker and Dillon Barnes in the first team, whilst assuming the coaching responsibilities at senior level.

"Rene is a fully qualified coach and has shown his aspirations by gaining his qualifications at a young age while continuing his playing career.

"He will also work closely with Paul Smith (head of academy goalkeeper coaching) in the development of all goalkeeping programmes at the club and identifying future goalkeepers for the future.”