JACK Payne is determined to make a big impression at Southend United next season.
The young midfielder has put pen to paper on a year-long deal to remain with the Shrimpers.
And the 19-year-old now has his sights set on becoming a regular starter in Phil Brown’s side.
“I’m pleased to have sorted out my contract but now I want to push on and make sure I’m in the starting line-up for the first game of the season against Accrington Stanley,” said Payne, who came through the youth system at Roots Hall.
“Last season was a good one for me as a breakthrough year but now I want to be making more starts.
“I want to do well in pre-season to get into the team and then I don’t want to lose my place.”
Payne made 15 first team appearances last season but just two of them were starts, both in cup competitions.
However, the youngster was a regular goalscorer in the reserves.
And he now wants to take that into League Two.
“The reserve games were good and helped with my development and I was pleased with the games I had,” said Payne.
“At the same time I would have wanted more matches and it was frustrating at times.
“But this is another big year for me coming up. I want to play as much as I can and I want to get some goals too.”
Payne’s new contract also has the option of an extra year.
He will be joined at Blues again next season by goalkeeper Paul Smith who has signed a year-long contract extension.
However, defender Julian Bennett will not be with the club last season after turning down their offer of a pay-as-you-play deal.