COLCHESTER United goalkeeper Dean Gerken has been praised after clocking up a milestone career achievement.

The U's shot stopper's appearance in their 0-0 draw with Bradford City in midweek was his 300th Football League game.

Gerken celebrated the personal landmark by helping Colchester keep a clean sheet and has been a consistent performer since returning to the club from Ipswich Town, last summer.

The former U's academy player has now racked up a personal milestone and boss John McGreal says he is delighted to have the experienced keeper in his squad.

McGreal said: “To reach 300 games is great and we’re hoping now that he can keep himself fit and keep more clean sheets for us.

“I said in the early part of the season that it was a real coup for the club to get a player with the calibre of Dean to come in.

“The chairman (Robbie Cowling) worked really hard on getting that deal done and he’s been brilliant for the club.

“Ethan (Ross) is one of those next boys who given half a chance will take it as well.

"I think that also keeps Dean on his toes, because he knows that he’s got a young, aspiring goalkeeper beneath him who’s chasing him down every day in training.

“That’s the healthy competition we have in there and Ethan has done a lot of work to keep Dean up to his standard of playing."

Meanwhile, boss McGreal says recent loan signing Tafari Moore will add competition in both of the full-back positions, in the Colchester squad.

The former Arsenal youngster arrived on loan from Plymouth Argyle last week and made his debut in the U's 2-1 win over Macclesfield Town, last weekend.

Moore filled in at right-back in place of the suspended Ryan Jackson but boss McGreal says the defender can also play at left-back.

McGreal added: “Tafari did particularly well after we threw him in the other day.

“He needs training under his belt and the good thing about Tafari is that he can play at right-back and left-back, as well.

“He gives that extra bit of competition which we do feel as though we’ve needed in that area.

“We haven’t had it throughout and I think we’ve been very fortunate not getting an injury to Jacko (Ryan Jackson) or Cohen (Bramall) before now."