Ted Smith says he’s thankful to the club for showing faith in him after a season of frustration with injury.
Smith has been at the club for 10 years now and late last week signed a new deal to keep him at Roots Hall for next season.
Playing time for the youngster has been thwarted due to a shoulder injury, but Smith is hoping to be over that now having spent the majority of his summer trying to get back fit.
“The weather has been alright here anyway,” said Smith. “I did get to go away towards the start of the summer which was nice but I’ve been in pretty much every day cracking on and trying to get fit.
“I did get a game right at the start of last season in the Carabao Cup, but I missed pretty much the whole of the season,” said Smith.
“I was out for four weeks, came back and then did it again so, yeah, it’s tough being in the physio room and seeing all the boys training every day but I’m really determined to go out there and have a good season.
“Being out for a year is tough but the club have been brilliant to me. It’s my 10th year here, so I’ve been here a while.
“For me everything happens for a reason so hopefully I can go out and produce some performances this year.”
Prior to the 2017/18 season, Smith deputised for Mark Oxley during the second half of the 2016/17 season and got a regular run of games before getting injured himself.
And the 22-year-old acknowledged Lee Harrison and Chris Powell for their support through his difficult time.
“Lee Harrison has been brilliant. He’s always been asking how I am and even though I couldn’t go out and get involved too much having had the operation, Lee’s been great to me and he’s constantly been by my side.
“I’m looking forward to working with him next year.
“The gaffer as well has been great. He comes into the treatment room, asks how we are. It’s easy for players who are injured to get put to the side but he’s been great.”