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Page last updated at 16:45 GMT, Friday, 4 February 2011

Ex-builder Coker lays solid foundations at Colchester

Ben Coker
Coker was loaned out to Chelmsford City before Christmas

Twelve months after working as a labourer, Colchester United left-back Ben Coker is appreciating every moment of being a League One footballer.

The 20-year-old, who came through the non-league ranks, has featured in Colchester United's last five matches.

"I am enjoying it massively, this is where I have wanted to be for years, and for the chance to come now is brilliant," Coker told BBC Essex.

"I thank the gaffer for trusting me enough to put me on."

Coker arrived at the U's in the summer from Bury Town after helping the Suffolk club win promotion to the Ryman Premier.

But he damaged ankle ligaments just days after making the switch and upon regaining fitness, was loaned out to Essex neighbours Chelmsford City.

However the departure of first-choice left-back Marc Tierney to Norwich re-opened the door for Coker, who admits he has come a long way in a short time.

"This time last year I was on a building site and going to training after work," he explained.

"Coming from non-league is not the way I'd like to do it, but it was a good foundation. This life style is probably a little bit easier!"

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