Phil Brown on Ryan Leonard's new contract with Southend United
Phil Brown says faith has been shown by all parties after Ryan Leonard signed his new contract with Southend United
Manager Phil Brown says faith has been shown all around after Ryan Leonard agreed a new three-and-a-half year deal with Blues on Friday.
Leonard, 21, has committed his long term future to Southend United after an excellent season that has seen his make 36 appearances, and captain Blues in the absence of John White.
Blues’ boss Brown says the new deal emphasises his, and the club’s, faith in the player, while Leonard has shown his faith in Brown and the club.
He said: “Every party involved in this has shown a good deal of faith. I’ve got faith in Ryan Leonard, he’s made giant strides this season as a player.
“The Chairman and the club also showed faith in myself and the player, because three-and-a-half year deals aren’t handed out too often in this division.
“Then Lenny has shown faith in myself, to help this club improve and to help him develop as a player, and the club – believing we can get to a higher division.
“I’m absolutely delighted that he’s agreed this new deal, because I’m sure we’ll see even more from a settled Ryan Leonard in the final 11 games, and now in the future.”
Having signed for the club as a right back, Brown and his coaching staff quickly realised Leonard’s potential, and he’s become an important midfielder for the club this season.
Brown has been very impressed with the 21-year-old this season, and was also pleased with the leadership qualities he showed when he took the armband in John White’s absence.
He added: “Lenny is the quiet type. He doesn’t rant and rave but he leads on the field of play because of his commitment.
“He’s still learning the game but we threw the captaincy at him, largely because we were at Plymouth, and all his qualities shone through.
“He played at right-back that day, the position he played when he joined the club, but we missed him in the middle of the park. That shows how far he has come.
“He has been outstanding this season. Long may that continue. I am glad he’s with us to continue his development – I think there’s a lot more to come from Ryan Leonard at Southend United.”