Former MK Dons loan midfielder Jack Payne has signed for Colchester United after being released by Charlton.

The 29-year-old has signed a two year deal to join the side from Essex, having been available on a free transfer after being released by Charlton Athletic.

Payne had been a regular pick for MK Dons after moving to Stadium MK on a season-long loan deal in August 2023. He made 44 appearances in all competitions for the side that finished 4th in League Two last season.

Joining Colchester will see Payne again work with U’s Head Coach Danny Cowley and his assistant manager and brother Nicky, with the Cowleys having signed Payne for Lincoln City in the summer of 2019. That however was a brief work relationship after Cowley left the club less than a month into the season to take the job at Huddersfield Town.

The signing is one of several made by Colchester as the team returned to pre-season this week, with the club also signing Lyle Taylor, Jack Woodyard, Ben Goodliffe, Rob Hunt and Matt Macey.

Payne voiced his pleasure to join Colchester and work with the Cowleys again in an arrival interview with his new club’s website.

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

“My time with them 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.”