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Banton: The hard work is still to come

1 July 2014

Young defender eyes first-team debut after signing his professional contract

Young defender Josh Banton has set his sights on making his first-team debut having signed his first professional deal on Tuesday.

The academy graduate has featured on the bench a number of times for the first-team during his spell with the youth side, but is yet to make that first senior appearance.

Having started pre-season training with the rest of the first-team today, Josh’s first target was clear as he spoke following the news he had signed his first pro deal.

He said: “I’m really happy to have signed a professional contract with the club. All the hard work I’ve put in so far is now worthwhile.

“Over the last season or so I’ve been involved in the first-team and been on the bench, so my first target this season is to make my debut for the first-team.

“Having come through the club’s academy and been here for nearly ten years now, it would be a special moment for me stepping out in a Southend United shirt.

“I’ve got a lot of hard work to put in during pre-season if I’m going to make it happen, but that’s the first target for me and then I’ll go from there.”

Josh praised Academy Manager Ricky Duncan for the hard work, and remembers his first meeting with the under-18’s boss.

He recalled: “I remember Rick saying to me when I was still quite young that if I worked hard I could get through to the first-team, and it has happened.

“He said I had the makings of a captain, and I’d like to think in the future that’s what I can do. But for now, I’m just focused on making a big impression.

“I can’t wait for the season to get started. The hard work has started with pre-season underway. Hopefully I can get some game time in the friendlies and show what I’m all about.”

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