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Southend United manager Phil Brown set to offer England star Ted Smith a pro deal
SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown is planning to open contract talks with the club’s talented young goalkeeper Ted Smith.
The former King John School pupil played for England’s under-18 side against Hungary last week.
And Brown now wants to reward the shot-stopper with his first professional contract at the club.
“I’ve spoken to Ted and we will hopefully be going down the line of talking to him about a pro deal soon,” said Brown.
“We’re proud of having an England under-18 goalkeeper and Ted playing for them was fantastic news for the whole club.”
Benfleet-based Smith has been with Blues since the age of 12.
And he hopes to follow in the foot-steps of Southend’s current number one Daniel Bentley, who also came through the youth ranks at Roots Hall, before turning professional.
“I hope at the end of the season I can get a professional contract with the club,” said Smith.
“Dan is a great example of coming through the club’s academy and working with him every day is brilliant because he’s a really good goalkeeper.
“But I don’t want to rest on what has already happened, I want to keep working hard, keep pushing myself and then do as well as I possibly can.”
Smith, who captains the Shrimpers under-18 side, is therefore fully focused on securing success for Ricky Duncan’s team this term.
And he will return to action a proud man after making his international debut for England in their 4-0 win against Hungary.
“It was an unforgettable experience and one I’ll never forget,” said Smith.
“The whole week was just amazing from the coaching, to the facilities, to keeping a clean sheet on my debut.
“It was also nice to have my parents watching the game and I’m sure they’ll be proud.
“I know that Ricky and the staff at Southend, are and I’m really grateful for all the hard work they’ve put in to developing me as a goalkeeper and a person.”