Ted intending to continue to put the pressure on good friend Dan Bentley!
Southend United goalkeeper Ted Smith admits he is delighted to have committed his future to the Blues after penning a fresh three-year contract at the club earlier today.
The stopper has appeared four times in the first team since making his debut against Accrington Stanley last season.
And Ted is already looking forward and is relishing the challenge at the club.
“I've been here for a while – eight years – and I'm delighted to extend my stay here,” the teenager says.
“I'm already looking forward to the next few seasons as a Southend United player.
“I feel like I'm on the right tracks. I'm still young and need experience and I got a few games last year which shows the faith the people here have in me.
“I want the jersey. Dan [Bentley] is doing brilliantly and if he takes a knock then I need to be ready to step in. I'll need to keep progressing with the under-21s and keep in check.
“I'd like to have played a number of games in the next few years. Seeing Dan definitely inspires me. He's talked to me a lot and he's had to be patient before earning his chance, and I'm intending on breaking through as well, just like he did.”
So how did it all start at the Blues for Smith?
“I actually went to Terry Mason's goalkeeping academy for a while for about six months,” the 19-year-old reflects.
“I went into the shadow squad before joining the under-12s and 13s. I remember playing half a game for the under-12s and half for the under-13s.
“The club have been brilliant since day one. They took you away for sessions at a young age, which is sometimes quite hard but it certainly helps you mature.
It's been quite a week for the youngster, who received another call up to the England under-20s team yesterday.
“I'm going to Germany for a few days in October. I'm looking forward to it. There's some older players coming with us and hopefully get some game time out there against Germany, Holland and Turkey.”