Defender Luke Prosser said it was never in doubt that he would sign a new contract with Southend United.
The 25-year-old put pen to paper on a new two-year deal, with the option of a third, on Monday, to become the first player to agree a new deal this summer.
Speaking exclusively to Blues Player, Prosser, who made 36 appearances last season, said he was delighted to be staying at Roots Hall for at least another two seasons.
He said: “I was desperate to stay at Southend United because I’ve loved my time here. I was really keen to get the new contract signed.
“It’s good to get it out the way now and I can just concentrate on pre-season and the campaign ahead, hopefully it’s the year we can push on and get promotion.
“It has taken a little bit of time (signing the contract), but it was always my intention to be here this season and I’m delighted it’s been sorted. I’m really looking forward to the season getting underway.”
Luke is hopeful he can build on his impressive displays last season, as he has done every year since joining Blues.
He added: “Every year I’ve been at the Club I personally think I’ve improved on the year before, in terms of appearances and consistency.
“Last year was probably my best, and I made 36 appearances, so hopefully I can make 40 plus appearances this time around – and add a few more goals to my game!
“It’s something that I need to work on. It helps the team if everyone is chipping in with a few goals so I want to try and be a bit more threatening in the box whenever I’m up there.”
Below is a short clip of both Luke and Phil Brown talking about the defender’s new deal. You can view full interviews with both Luke and Phil on Blues Player, which you can subscribe to here.