Jack Bridge says it's a 'dream come true' to sign for club he watched as a youngster...
Watching his first ever game at Roots Hall as a youngster, Jack Bridge never expected he’d be signing a professional contract with the club he followed as a boy.
The central midfielder has been with Southend United’s Academy since the age of nine, and having impressed for Ricky Duncan’s under-18 side over the last two years, has earned a professional deal.
He will now hope to be playing at Roots Hall, rather than watching as he did when he was a kid, for the club this season under the guidance of manager Phil Brown.
Jack said: “I remember coming to watch my first game of football when I was a kid here at Roots Hall, so it’s incredible to now be part of the first-team.
“It’s a dream come true and I just want to make the most of the opportunity I’ve been given, firstly by Ricky Duncan, and now by the manager.
“I was nine years old when I first came into the academy so I’ve been here for a long time now, but this season will be very different.
“The step up to the first-team is always going to be tough, but thankfully we got some experience under our belts in and around the group last season.
“That will hopefully stand us in good stead. I’ve tried to do a bit of extra work over the off season to prepare me as best as possible for what is to come.”
Bridge was involved on a couple of occasions during the 2013-14 season, and has highlighted the rise of Jack Payne as an example he can look to.
He added: “It was great to be involved a few times last season, and to have my name read out on the teamsheet was something I won’t forget.
“Now the aim for me is to get on the bench as much as possible and into the first-team if I can. Pre-season is a real chance to impress.
“Jack had a great year and we can all look at how well he did for our own motivation. I’d like to think I can do just as well this season, but I know I’ve got to work extremely hard.”