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Southend United Paul Sturrock out to unearth some jewels from the non-league
SOUTHEND United manager Paul Sturrock wants the club to improve their scouting system in a bid to unearth some gems from the Essex non-league.
The Blues recently moved Ryan Hall on to Leeds United, two years after signing him from Conference South club Bromley, and Sturrock feels there’s plenty more talent to be found playing outside of the professional game.
“The success we had with Ryan shows what can be possible, and I certainly don’t think he’s the only one who’s capable of handling such a step up,” said Sturrock.
“I think there are players out there in the Conference and in the two divisions below that who could do well in the Football League, and I think we need to do more to find them.
“There are other nuggets out there in deepest, darkest Essex and heading into London as well, so I will be speaking to the board to see if we can do more with our scouting to get out to these games.”
The likes of Stoke City’s Michael Kightly, Celtic’s Gary Hooper and Brighton’s Craig Mackail-Smith have all secured great success after playing non-league football in south Essex.
The last Southend side to win promotion from League Two in 2005 also contained Darryl Flahavan, Mark Bentley, Mark Gower and Freddy Eastwood, who were all signed from clubs outside the Football League.
And Sturrock feels an increased presence at more lower level games could prove to be as successful as matches he regular puts on for trialists.
“We’ve signed about four or five players from those games for trialists and now we want to try to see what can be achieved with tracking people in non-league,” said Sturrock.
“You never know what might happen. And although nothing can be guaranteed, it is certainly something I believe is worth exploring.”