Ted Smith keeps clean sheet for England's under-18's in 4-0 win against Hungary
Academy Manager Ricky Duncan was extremely proud of youth team goalkeeper Ted Smith after he kept a clean sheet for England’s under-18’s in their 4-0 win against Hungary at St George’s Park.
Ted played 80 minutes in the 4-0 win and pulled off a terrific save from a free-kick to ensure he kept a clean sheet.
And Duncan, who has worked with Ted since he arrived at the club’s academy aged 12, said Ted’s cap is testament to everyone who has helped him develop at Southend United.
He said: “I’m massively delighted for Ted. Considering he’s been with the academy for a number of years, he’s deserved this for all his hard work.
“He’s taken on the role of skipper for the under-18’s this season and that’s helped him. You get out what you put in and this is an excellent example of that.
“It’s not just me, but everyone who has ever coached him, including goalkeeping coach Terry Mason, deserve huge credit for his call up.
“Phil Brown has also helped him earn this call up because he called him up to the first-team for a few friendlies at the start of the season and he gained a lot of confidence from that.
“Everyone at the club should be very proud because it’s down to everyone’s hard work, including those fans who contribute to the Blues Lottery.
“They have also played a significant part in helping fund the academy which has then allowed Ted to develop his game further.”
Ricky is looking forward to welcoming Ted back to the fold on Wednesday.
He said: “Ted will be back training with us again on Wednesday and I’m sure he’ll be welcomed back by all the lads. They are all absolutely delighted for him.
“We’ve not got a game this weekend but we’ll have an internal one which Ted will be involved in.
“This experience will give him a lot of belief and now it’s all about him pushing on and doing whatever he can to earn a professional contract at the end of the season.
“We’ve also got the FA Youth Cup coming up which he’ll play a big part in. He’s got to focus on Southend United now and working hard, which is what he’s done all season.”