Defender Matthew Connolly has joined Championship side Colchester United on loan for the 2007/08 season.

Connolly, 19, broke into the first team last season, making his debut in the Carling Cup victory at West Bromwich Albion last October, playing the full 90 minutes. This was followed by a substitute appearance in the 6-3 victory at Anfield in the Carling Cup Fifth Round.

Matthew has been a regular in the Reserves for the past two seasons, featuring many times as Captain and made 11 starts for Neil Banfield's team last term.

Matthew had a very eventful 2006/07 campaign. After playing in Dennis Bergkamp's Testimonial match at Emirates Stadium in July, Matthew also trained with the full England squad as they prepared for their friendly match against Holland in November. He later spent a successful loan spell with League One side AFC Bournemouth, making seven appearances.

Everyone at Arsenal would like to wish Matthew the best of luck for next season with Colchester United.

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6 Jul 2007