Southend United’s first signing this summer is 22-year-old winger Sam Barratt from Maidenhead United.
Barratt has made the leap into the Football League and signed pro terms for Blues having impressed at York Road for the last three seasons.
And he can’t wait to get started at his new club.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” said Barratt. “It’s a dream come true making it from non-league to pro football.
“It’s something I’ve been working very hard for and I’m very grateful to the people that have helped me along the way.
“It’s a great opportunity coming in. A great manager; I’ve heard nothing but good things about the club and the people around it.
“When I got the call I was absolutely ecstatic and I’m excited to get going.”
Barratt has been working as a part-time artist alongside his football in the non-league, but he is excited to now be moving into the full-time game and working under Chris Powell.
“The gaffer has said really positive things which is why I’m here,” Barratt added.
“I wanted to come somewhere there was an opportunity to push on and he’s given me the confidence and shown faith in me that he thinks I can do that.
“It’s exciting knowing that he will be backing me and pushing me all the way.”
Blues’ newest signing describes himself as a versatile forward with the ability to contribute with goals and assists next season.
“I’ve played non-league all my life, I’m quite raw and play on the left mainly but I can play on the right and just behind the forwards.
“I’m quite versatile in that forward line and I’m hoping to grab some goals and plenty of assists.”