SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown feels he could have unearthed another potential signing in former Dagenham & Redbridge defender Gavin Hoyte.

The right-back is currently on trial with the Shrimpers and lined up against both Billericay Town and Tottenham Hotspur.

And Brown has hinted the 24- year-old could follow in the footsteps of Ben Coker in signing for Blues after a successful trial period in pre-season.

“Gavin played 45 minutes against Billericay and probably 60 against Spurs and he’s done well in those games,” said the Shrimpers boss.

“We could have another situation like the one we had with Ben Coker here last summer.

“We will be talking to him again and hope he will be able to play in our next friendly against Braintree on Saturday.”

Hoyte has figured mostly at right-back during his career, a position Southend skipper John White did well in last season.

As a result, Brown is considering moving White in to a central defensive position.

And he could well figure there in Blues’ forthcoming friendlies.

“John was very commanding in a central position against Billericay and he can play well there so that’s certainly another option for us,” said Brown.

“We are definitely short of defenders at the moment though and we definitely need to bring in one or two more in that area before the start of the season.”

Luke Prosser is currently the only fit recognised centre back in the Southend squad with Adam Thompson currently sidelined with a back problem.

However, Nabil Aslam – who had been on trial with the Shrimpers – will not be joining.

“Nabil showed he can play but, although it sounds crazy, I think he would actually be better off playing at a level higher than League Two so he’s moved on now,” said Brown.

“At our level it’s a war of attrition.

"You play Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday and come up against some big forwards and teams playing route one.

“I’m not sure he would have been able to cope with that."