SOUTHEND United new boy Stephen Hendrie is eager to get his career back on track with the Shrimpers.

The 22-year-old left-back made just four league appearances in a season long loan with Blackburn Rovers last term.

And he is now desperate to prove his worth at Blues, starting with an opening day appearance against his former team.

“Last season was a nightmare for me,” said Hendrie.

“It was just nowhere near good enough and I didn’t play anywhere near as many games as I wanted.

“It was disappointing and I had a little laugh to myself when I saw Southend’s first game was against Blackburn.

“It’s a new challenge for me and it’s one I’m really excited about.

“I’ll be doing all I can to get games because that’s what I need, especially after the disappointment of last season.

“But there are a lot of good players at Southend so I know I’ll need to be playing well to get the number of appearances I want.”

Hendrie will battle with Ben Coker for Blues’ left-back berth and Stephen McLaughlin on the left wing.

However, Hendrie believes the competition for places will only be of benefit for the Shrimpers.

“You need people pushing for places in the team and having that kind of competition can only ever be a good thing,” said Hendrie.

“It brings the best out of people and that’s what I want.

“I know the team only just missed out on the play-offs last season and hopefully we’ll do better next year.

“That’s certainly the aim and I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone and getting started.”

Hendrie, who was released by West Ham at the end of last season, made five appearances during a short loan spell with Southend in early 2016.

But it was his brief stay at Blues which persuaded him to come back.

“I did have offers to go back to Scotland but as soon as I found out Southend were interested I knew this was where I wanted to be,” said Hendrie.

“The manager was brilliant to me when I was here before and I know it’s a great club with good fans so it didn’t take me long to make up my mind if I’m honest.

“I’m buzzing to be back and I can’t wait to start pre-season now.”

Hendrie, who will travel out to Spain with Blues for a week long training camp on Friday, has signed a two year contract with the Shrimpers.

The deal also includes the option of a further year.