Barnard, Smith and Payne committed to Blues for 2014-15...
Southend United are pleased to announce that a trio of players have committed to the club for the 2014-15 season.
Striker Lee Barnard, who initially joined on a six-month loan deal from Southampton, agreed a year’s deal to run from this summer back in January.
Goalkeeper Paul Smith has also signed a year’s contract extension, while youngster Jack Payne, who had a breakthrough season last time around, has also signed a one-year deal, with an option for a further year.
Barnard, who returned to Blues following time at Southampton, scored once in 14 appearances during the second half of the campaign and will be hoping a full pre-season can help him rediscover his magic touch at Roots Hall.
Goalkeeper Smith played understudy to Daniel Bentley last season, but will be looking to challenge the youngster for the number one shirt throughout the 2014-15 campaign.
The trio is completed by Payne, who having progressed through the youth academy here at Southend United, made a big impression last season.
He made 15 appearances throughout the season for the first-team, while also captaining the development side over the course of the campaign.
Anthony Straker has of course left to join fellow League 2 side York City, while defender Julian Bennett will not be returning to Roots Hall for the 2014-15 campaign.