Southend United Football Club are delighted to confirm the signing of striker Rhys Murphy.
The 30-year-old forward joins the club after a prolific couple of seasons in the National League with Yeovil Town where he scored 33 goals in 64 games.
And Blues have moved quickly to add to their strike force ahead of the 2021/22 season with the arrival of Murphy on a two-year deal with the option of a third.
"It’s nice to get the move sorted nice and early so there’s no stress over the summer and I’m already looking forward to getting in, meeting everyone for pre-season and getting started,” Murphy said following the move.
"There’s been a few noises about the move and it’s been kept quiet until now so it’s nice to finally have it announced and start meeting the fans so to speak.
"I came and met the manager and coaching staff and was really impressed with them. We shared the same goals of where we want to go with the club. I know it’s been a tricky couple of years, but it wasn’t long ago this club was challenging for Championship football and there’s no reason why it can’t get back to those days.
"Obviously we’re not there right now, but I’m really excited to a part of the journey and hopefully being part of getting the club back to where they were."
Starting his career at Arsenal, Murphy joined Dutch second tier club Telstar in 2012, after loans with Brentford and Preston North End, before returning to England with Dagenham & Redbridge and scoring 13 goals in his first season in League Two.
In February 2015, the former Republic of Ireland U21 international moved north to Oldham Athletic for an undisclosed fee, shortly after going out on loan to Crawley Town where he netted nine goals in 15 games.
Another successful loan stint in the 15/16 season followed at AFC Wimbledon where Murphy won promotion from Sky Bet League Two.
Since then, the striker has joined Forest Green Rovers, Gillingham and Chelmsford City in permanent deals, moving to the Glovers from the Clarets in 2019. And Murphy hopes to better his goalscoring record from his time at Huish Park, next season for Blues.
"Hopefully my numbers can be better. Both seasons there were a couple of spells of injury and what not, and this last year has been tricky with Covid. It will be nice to get a good pre-season into me.
"I’ve heard the manager likes to work us hard [in pre-season] so I’m looking forward to that and getting as fit as possible. Like I say, I want to be bettering my numbers from the previous two seasons.
"I keep my personal ambitions to myself, they’re for me. First and foremost I’m signing for this football club to get promoted and I hope I can play as big a part in that as possible. The main job of a striker is scoring goals that’s what I’ll be looking to do."
Phil Brown said: "It’s not rocket science and we can all do the maths. We had scored 24 goals by the time I had arrived last season and I think we got another five so we got 29 goals. There’s no way on this earth that’s going to do anything in any division. You’re very lucky if you survive that kind of lack of quality.
"Rhys will bring that quality. He brings an awareness around the penalty box that I’m hoping we’ve got the creativity and quality around the penalty box to cause teams a problem.
"But he’s also the type of player that will pop up in moments where you least expect him and stick the ball in the back of the net and you can nick a game 1-0. Sometimes you have to do that.
"That’s not luck that’s judgement of character and judgement of players that you have around you and Rhys is one of them.
"I was impressed with the way he interviewed. He wanted to work with me, he wanted to work with a club that is ambitious and I think we ticked all of them boxes. Hopefully he will tick the box of scoring goals for us next year."
Rhys will officially become a Southend United player on 1st July.