Youngster raring to go having signed a new deal...
Having signed a new contract with Southend United on Tuesday, youngster Jack Payne is determined to kick on again after an excellent breakthrough season last time around.
The 19-year-old signed a new one-year deal with the option of a further year, and after 15 appearances last season, 13 of which were from the substitute bench, Jack is now determined to work his way into the starting line-up.
He believes another strong pre-season will give him every chance of breaking into the starting XI when Blues travel to Accrington Stanley on August 9th.
Jack said: “I’m really pleased to have signed a new contract with the club because I’ve been here for a number of years now having come through the academy.
“It’s good that it has all been sorted before the start of pre-season, so I can really focus on making sure I am 100 per cent ready for that first game of the season.
“Pre-season last year was really good for me because I got a lot of minutes under my belt and learned a great deal being around the first-team for the first time.
“There were a few nerves this time last year, but there won’t be this time around. I’ll be back in ready to work really hard. My aim is to be in the starting line-up for Accrington Stanley.
“I made quite a few substitute appearances last season. My only target this year is to try and start every game. I will work as hard as I can to try and make that happen.”
The creative midfielder got minutes under his belt captaining the development side last season, and he believes the experience there was very important to his progression.
He added: “The development games were really good for me and a number of the lads last season. It is always important to be getting minutes on the pitch so I was grateful for the matches.
“It was nice to be the captain and I got quite a few goals which is always good for confidence. We played some good teams and the experience was also important for me.
“Of course, I want to be getting the minutes in the first-team, so that’s my aim this season right from the first day of pre-season.”
An interview with Jack is available on Blues Player.