Southend United get their pre-season friendly schedule underway on Saturday against Essex Senior League side Great Wakering Rovers.
Kick-off in Phil Brown’s first pre-season game as manager of Southend United is 1pm at Burroughs Park.
The game against Great Wakering is a regular fixture in Blues’ pre-season. Last year’s fixture was a close one, with Blues running out 3-2 winners.
Luke Prosser, Elliot Benyon and Gavin Tomlin were all on the score sheet as Blues twice came from behind to level before Tomlin tapped home what turned out to be the winning goal.
Boss Phil Brown has said that he will field two different XI’s on Saturday for each half, but is expecting all of his first-team squad to be involved.
That doesn’t include new signing Will Atkinson who Brown admits is currently slightly behind the rest in terms of fitness, or goalkeeper Paul Smith who has been sidelined with a calf injury.
Mitchell Pinnock is also a doubt after suffering with illness this past week.
Brown has urged as many supporters as possible to make the trip to Burroughs Park to help support Great Wakering.
He said: “It’s a big game for Great Wakering. All of their players will be looking to prove they’ve got what it takes and they’ll make it very difficult for our boys. Obviously it is only the first pre-season game, so I don’t think anyone will play for more than 45 minutes.
“For clubs like Great Wakering a game like this can set them up for the season, so it would be great if as many of our fans as possible can get down to the game.
“It will also give supporters a chance to see how the lads are shaping up after two weeks of pre-season. We’ll try a couple of different formations and tactics and see how they go.
“I’m not one that is all about results in pre-season, for me it is just about getting minutes out on the pitch at this stage making sure we’re ready for the first game against Plymouth.”
Brown has also revealed a number of trialists will feature in the game on Saturday as they look to earn themselves a contract with the Club.
The manager has been impressed by their efforts in training but says it’s now time for them to step up and really show what they are capable of.
He added: “We’ve had a number of trialists in who will probably all be involved in some aspect on Saturday against Great Wakering.
“They have all really impressed in training with their attitude and effort but now we’re going into a game they need to show that ability out there on the pitch.
“We’ll watch them in a couple of friendlies before making a decision on them I expect.”
Tickets for the game are £5 for adults and free for children under the age of ten.
If you can’t make it to Burroughs Park you can follow live updates on our official Twitter feed: @SUFCRootsHall. The full match will hopefully be available on Blues Player a couple of days after the game while highlights will be available on our official YouTube channel.