We are delighted to announce the signing of Andre Blackman on a monthly multiplicity contract.
The 28-year-old has been on trial at the club over the past five weeks, playing in every pre-season friendly.
And Bond said the former Barnet and Crawley Town, among others, left-back will add much-needed competition for places.
“Andre had found himself out of football for over a year,” said Bond. “He’s had no association with a club, no association with football for over a year through circumstances.
“He was mad keen not to let his career finish like it appeared that it had done, and he was desperate for an opportunity to show somebody what he can do.
“I’ve had experience of him in the past at other clubs when I’ve come across him, so I know what he’s potentially capable of.
“At first we said he could come in during pre-season to show what he can do with absolutely no promises attached.
“I’ve got to say, he’s not missed a day’s training, he’s shown he’s got real personality, he’s been a positive influence around the football club and I think it’s great credit to him that he’s gone from, if you like, an ex-footballer and completely out the game, to the first day of pre-season being involved and steadily improving.
“I think he can contribute something otherwise I wouldn’t have done it.
“We need competition for places down that left side and he will give us that.
“He’s done remarkably well, and he deserves great credit to get where he is, so we’ve signed him on a short-term deal and he’s now a footballer again.
“If he continues to apply himself as he has done then he will improve. He’s got undoubted ability and I think that will be good for Southend United.
“You need competition for places. Everybody needs to know that their place is not a foregone conclusion and they have to maintain certain standards otherwise they could be in danger of going out the team, and that’s everybody.
“We need that, and Andre will give us that competition. I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t think he would offer us that because I think he will.”