We are delighted to announce Shaun Hobson has committed his future to Southend United.
The defender, who was set to be out of contract at the end of June, has put pen to paper on a new two-year deal at Roots Hall.
Hobson made 48 appearances in all competitions in his debut season at the club, scoring twice, in which he was also named player of the year by the supporters.
The 22-year-old said: "I’m very happy to get it done. It’s been an up and down last week but I’m glad to get signed for next season.
"There’s a lot of unfinished business. For myself I need to learn more, get more experience. I thought it was disappointing last season. It started off bad and went viral for the wrong reasons and as a team we shouldn’t have been in the position we were in so I’m looking at next season to bounce back.
"Promotion has to be the mentality from day one. Not even day one, but from now. Everyone has to do what they have to do to get back in the league where this club belongs.
"One of the reasons to come back was to work with the manager, an ex-Premier League manager with a lot of experience behind him from playing and managing. I feel like I can learn, I feel like I can develop as a person and also as a player under him."
Hobson is pleased to have his future sorted early.
"Me and the gaffer spoke before leaving for the off-season about clarity in the mind. In the past I’ve been all over the place and I felt like I needed to be settled, in my mind, to know this is my goal and this is where I’m going to be. This is what this contract does for me."
Manager Phil Brown said: "I’m absolutely delighted. Centre half is a big position in any league, let alone the National League.
"I think you need big strong characters, you need a bit of pace, you need stature, you need an ability to handle the ball and for me Shauny ticks all of the boxes that I’m talking about.
"Not only that but [he was] player of the year [last season], it looks to me like he is one of those who is very well respected by the supporters and the way he plays the game.
"For us to sign a 22-year-old that is going to have another 10 or 12 years in the game, hopefully we can educate him. He’s not worked with me closely yet, only to the extent that we’ve had six games together.
"I certainly think there is a lot to work with and hopefully my style of coaching will improve him no end because I do like defenders that put their body on the line, and Shauny is one of them."
Brown added: "I want him to be playing league football come next year because we’ve had a successful season in the National League.
"But I won’t be stopping there with regards to centre backs. John White is going to be a centre half next year, not a full back, but I’m certainly looking and talking to two or three central defenders as well to maybe give Shauny that competition for places that he will need to make him a better player."