JOHN Coleman has made towering midfielder Harry Pell his first summer signing, following his release from Colchester United.

And the 6ft 4.5ins midfielder says it was a phonecall with Accrington Stanley legend Billy Kee that confirmed it was the right move for him.

Pell has played the bulk of his professional career in the southern half of England.

But he felt the chance to join Coleman's Reds revolution was too good to turn down.

"I'm really excited for the plans that are in place here and I'm really looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and cracking on," said the 29-year-old, who started his career with Charlton Athletic before moves to Bristol Rovers, Hereford, AFC Wimbledon and Cheltenham.

"I'm really looking forward to it and it's something I've taken a lot of time to think about really because obviously a big move for me and my family but it's one that I'm really excited about.

"When I knew that John was interested I was blown away by what the club are trying to do, the way they are trying to do it and that real togetherness is really key for me so I'm really looking forward to it."

Of Kee's involvement in his decision, Pell added: "A long phonecall with Billy Kee was instrumental.

"We know each other by hating each other on the pitch. I had a beer with him at one point.

"He's a great lad and funnily enough in lockdown I remember being on House Party and before you know it Sean McConville's in there.

"I used to hate playing against Accrington and those two were an absolute nightmare to play against, but now I'm looking forward to playing with Sean.

"Every time I've come here I've absolutely hated playing here, I'll be honest. Coming up against the gaffer's teams - high energy, horrible to play against, loads of enthusiasm and I think that's why I'll get on really well here.

"I've seen the way the team's played this year at certain times, seen their results and obviously they've done really well.

"So I'm looking to come in here and stamp a bit of authority but at the same time I'm looking to add to what the gaffer's got going on here."