Chris Powell was over the moon to “win the race” and re-sign Mark Oxley.
The goalkeeper – who kept nine clean sheets in Powell’s 18 games from the end of January to May - signed a three-year contract extension at Roots Hall on Monday.
And the Blues boss said it was a coup for Oxley to remain a Southend player.
“In some respects a lot of it was out of our hands because he was out of contract.
“As everyone knows, when you’re over 24 and out of contract you can put your case forward, but the player is free to talk and go wherever he pleases.
“I’ve kept in good contact with Mark over this off-season and I’ve always been very respectful for the position he’s in, and I understand it.
“There was a lot of talk of other clubs and I understand that and why they would look at him, but we’ve won the race as such.
“It’s really pleasing that we know Mark Oxley will be between the sticks for us next year.
“He’s earnt the right to be our number one since he’s joined the club.
“Other players will look at him and see it as an important signing and hopefully there will be one or two more in the not too distant future who will follow suit, and then we look forward to pre-season.”