JACK Payne admits Huddersfield Town’s promotion to the Premier League has yet to sink in.

The attacking midfielder opted to leave Southend United in favour of a switch to the Terriers at the end of last season.

And the 22-year-old, who came through the youth ranks at Roots Hall, is struggling to come to terms with Town’s promotion to the top tier of English football.

“It’s unbelievable and it really hasn’t sunk in at all if I’m honest,” said Payne.

“To have won promotion this season is a huge achievement and for me to be part of a squad who are going up into the Premier League seems crazy.

“Only two years ago I was playing in League Two with Southend and next year I’ll be in the Premier League so it’s mad how quickly it’s all happened.”

Huddersfield clinched their promotion by beating Reading on penalties in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

And the nerve-wracking win lifted Payne’s spirits after he was initially disappointed to have been left out of the matchday squad.

“Before the game I was gutted when I found out I wasn’t going to be involved because I really thought I would be,” said Payne.

“But after winning the game it didn’t really seem to matter anymore because it was just about making sure we got the victory.

“Thankfully that happened but having to just watch is horrible, it’s so much more nerve-wracking than playing because there’s nothing you can do.”

Payne scored four goals in his 28 appearances for the Terriers during the course of the season.

And he thoroughly enjoyed lining up in the Championship.

“I knew it was going to be a big step up but it’s probably been even bigger than I thought it would be,” said Payne.

“The quality is really good and you’re playing against some top teams in really good atmospheres so I’ve really enjoyed it.”

However, while Payne may still be preparing for the Premier League he still regularly tracks Southend’s progress and remains grateful for the Shrimpers’ part in his career.

“I owe Southend a lot, especially Ricky Duncan and Graham Coughlan who were both brilliant for me,” said Payne.

"I've spoken to them both since the final and they're really proud of what I've achieved.

“I still also talk to Ben Coker every week and both him and Jack Bridge came to Wembley for the final along with quite a few of the lads I played in the youth team with which was great.

“I’ve also got a lot of messages from Southend fans which I really appreciate and I would like to thank them for that support.”

Payne bagged 21 goals in 88 games with Blues before leaving in a £400,000 deal last summer.

But Payne now has his sights set on making an impact in the Premier League.

“I’ll be working as hard as I can to get minutes on the pitch and show what I can do,” said Payne. “I can’t wait for next season already.”