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Clifford and Bennett both join Blues

1 August 2013

Phil Brown completes double swoop as Julian Bennett and Conor Clifford sign for Blues

Southend United are delighted to confirm the double signing of midfielder Conor Clifford and defender Julian Bennett, following the arrival of striker Craig Reid earlier today (Thursday).

21-year-old Conor has signed a two-year deal following his release by Championship side Leicester City at the end of the season.

Bennett, who won Nottingham Forest’s Player of the Year in 2008, has signed a one-year deal with the option on a second based on various clauses.

The signing of both Conor and Julian means 14 players have now either signed for the club, or agreed a new deal, during the close season, including six new faces.

Conor, a product of Chelsea’s youth system, has spent time out on loan at Plymouth, Notts County, Yeovil Town, Portsmouth and Crawley and has scored two professional goals.

The midfielder impressed on trial after making his first appearance in the 3-3 friendly draw with Leyton Orient.

Bennett linked up with the squad out in Madrid on their pre-season tour and has also impressed Phil Brown since arriving on trial.

Bennett began his career with Walsall before joining Nottingham Forest in 2006. He spent five years at Forest and won promotion with them before joining Sheffield Wednesday in 2011.

He again won promotion from League 1 with Sheffield Wednesday in 2012 but had a frustrating year last year, largely down to injury.

Phil Brown was delighted to have signed both Conor and Julian. He added: “I’m very pleased to have Conor and Julian both on board, they’ve really impressed me during their trial and to have them here ahead of the start of the season is great.

“We identified positions we needed to improve and both of the lads have done really well and shown they are ready to fill the spots available.

“Conor is a midfielder who likes to rough it up a bit and I think we were missing that, while Julian has plenty of experience in winning promotion and I’m sure that will help us this season.”

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