Southend United are delighted to announce the appointment of Mark Patterson as the club’s Academy Manager.
Patterson, 53, had a playing career spanning 16 years, starting at Carlisle United before joining Derby County, Plymouth Argyle and Gillingham.
After injury forced him to hang up his boots he settled in the south east with The Gills, covering every role from coach in their centre of excellence right through to first team level as caretaker manager and assistant manager under Steve Lovell.
Mark will combine his new role at Blues alongside his current position working for Northern Ireland’s U21s during international breaks.
Speaking to southendunited.co.uk on his appointment, Mark said: “For years this club has produced players and we want to continue that.
“Every Category 3 Academy club and above needs to be producing home grown players. The record from here is very good and it’s a challenge to continue it but we’ll do our best.
“The ultimate aim is to get players in the first team and get them playing at Roots Hall initially, and then at the new ground in a couple of years’ time.
“The off-field plans are exciting and players coming through the system will have the opportunity to play in a brand new stadium in the next few years.”
Patterson added: “There’s a great set of staff here, people who know their jobs and are keen to work for the club and who will do everything possible to help players progress through the ranks from the youngest age all the way through to the senior level.
“We want boys to enjoy themselves. There will be some in the system that will go all the way through and play in the first team and there will be others that won’t make it. Ultimately, we want them to enjoy their training and enjoy their matches.
“They’re working with good coaches who know the game and what’s required. If they’re good enough at the end of it then we will get them in the first team.”
Welcome to the club, Mark!