Southend United play their last pre-season friendly on Essex soil on Saturday before heading off to Madrid on tour next week.Manager Paul Sturrock will take his first team squad to Blue Square Premier side Braintree Town on Saturday, 3pm.
Fresh from Wednesday’s 3-2 win against Great Wakering Rovers, Sturrock is once again set to give his whole squad a run out at Cressing Road.
Set to feature is striker Freddy Eastwood who continues to build on his fitness following a summer knee operation.
Eastwood went under the knife in the close season to cure a troublesome knee problem and played 45 minutes against Wakering this week.
“I’m still feeling my way in to it again at the moment and the 45 minutes against Wakering the other night were my first of pre-season,” said Eastwood.
“That did me the world of good and the more I play the sharper and fitter I will get. My knee is feeling fine and we’re doing all kinds of work in training which is helping me get in shape.
“And I’m certain that by the time the league season starts I’ll be fit and really raring to go.”
Eastwood is now looking forward to stepping things up when Blues travel to Conference club Braintree Town tomorrow.
“Braintree are only one level lower than us and had a good season last year, so I’m sure it will be a good test for us,” said Eastwood.
“That’s certainly what we need at this time of the year and it will be another good game for me and all the other lads to get fitter and sharper again.”