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Southend United's Freddy Eastwood wanted to quit football last season
SOUTHEND United striker Freddy Eastwood has revealed he wanted to quit football last season.
The popular forward has netted four goals in his last five games for the Shrimpers and will be looking to add to that tally against Scunthorpe United at Roots Hall this evening.
But last season was far more of a struggle for Eastwood, who barely figured under former Blues boss Paul Sturrock.
And the goal-getter has now exclusively told Echosport that a lack of first team football led to him wanting to hang up his boots.
“I spoke to the chairman and I told him I didn’t want to play anymore,” said Eastwood, who was handed five league starts in eight months with Sturrock in charge last season.
“I didn’t want to leave or play for any other club because I had no interest in that and I still don’t.
“But the simple reason was I just wasn’t enjoying it anymore.
“I train and play football because it’s something I like but that wasn’t possible last year because quite simply the manager didn’t want to play me.
“He would come out in the press and say he was trying to get me fit so I could play but that wasn’t the case.
“Whether or not it was him who chose to sign me I don’t know but he definitely didn’t want me to be the one playing every week.
“It was disappointing and I didn’t want that because I came back to Southend because I wanted to play and help the club win promotion.
“That’s why I went to see the chairman but, in the end, I stayed and carryied on playing and I’m obviously glad I did now.”
Sturrock was replaced by Phil Brown last March and, with the former Hull City boss in charge, Eastwood has become far more a regular in the side.
As a result, the striker is now joint top goalscorer in League Two.
And he has rediscovered his love for the game.
“I get on really well with the new manager and he’s changed everything here,” said Eastwood.
“We eat different food, the training ground is better, so are the pitches and the changing room as well.
“There’s real competition for places again too whereas last year it seemed the same players stayed in the team no matter how they played and I don’t think that’s fair to the lads trying to get in to the starting line-up.
“I’m fitter and sharper and that’s solely down to the fact I have a manager who wants to play me.
“I’m buzzing again and that’s why I’m scoring goals.
“The little run I had been on ended last week against Morecambe.
“But hopefully I can score again tonight and help us get the result we need against Scunthorpe.”
Blues go in to the game on the back of three straight defeats and sit 11th in the League Two table, four places higher than the Iron.