FEMI Akinwande has secured a professional contract at Colchester United.

The Maldon and Tiptree striker has agreed a deal with the Weston Homes Community Stadium League One side and will join their development squad until the end of the season.

Akinwande, who was previously with Millwall, had spent two games on trial with the U’s earlier in November after impressing with the Jammers so far this season.

In his time under the management of Maldon boss and U’s coach David Wright, Akinwande had scored 12 goals in 18 appearances.

Maldon and Tiptree manager Wright said: “Femi has been outstanding for us.

“He fully deserves his chance at Colchester United.

“It shows that hard work can get you a contract at a League club.

“It does weaken Maldon and Tiptree but it is up to me to go out there and fill that space.

“Either getting someone in or someone filling that space from within.”

And Akinwande made an immediate impact for Colchester United’s under-21 side.

He opened the scoring in their 3-1 victory against Brentford on Monday.

Wright believes that Akinwande’s move will be a boost to his players and is what the two club’s were looking to achieve when they linked up at the start of the season.

Wright said: “This kind of movement is one of the things we discussed when Colchester United and Maldon and Tiptree were setting up the link between the clubs.

“It shows that it is is possible and that it isn’t just words.

“And hopefully we can get more players from Maldon making the move across.

“It can be an added incentive to the Maldon players that hard work does pay off, that it is possible to earn a full-time contract at Colchester.

“This can be a benefit across the club.

“Femi made a great start, scoring on his debut, and is a great example for the lads.”

Maldon’s game at Thamesmead Town this weekend has been postponed as the hosts are in FA Trophy action.

The Jammers were in Ryman League division north action on Tuesday night and lost out 3-2 against Phoenix Sports following their 3-0 win against Soham Town Rangers last Saturday (see page 39).

Against Phoenix, Maldon were reduced to ten men when Gavin Greenfield was sent off early on.

Maldon went behind but fought back to take a 2-1 lead before finally losing out.