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Chris Barker sticking with Southend United
SOUTHEND United captain Chris Barker has committed his future to the club for another 12 months.
The 32-year-old centre-back had been locked in contract talks with the Roots Hall hierarchy since the end of last season.
But Barker has now put pen to paper on a new year-long deal and is already targeting another push for promotion next term.
“We were all disappointed to not get over the line and win promotion last season, not just through the play-offs but automatically as well,” said Barker.
“We gave it a good crack and there was a fine line between success and failure in the end.
“However, I think the experience of that will probably have done the younger players some good in the long run and I remain as hungry as ever to get promotion next season.
“I’m therefore really happy to be staying as I’ve really enjoyed my time at Southend.”
Barker has already spent two seasons with Blues and made his 100th appearance for the club in the final game of the previous campaign against Crewe Alexandra in the play-offs.
The defender also bagged his first ever Southend goal during the 2-2 draw with the Railwaymen which ultimately ended his side’s promotion dream.
And Blues boss Paul Sturrock is pleased to have kept Barker at the club.
“I am really pleased to have got this sorted,” said Sturrock. “Chris was immense during his first season with us and, although injuries hampered him at times last year, I think in the run-in we saw what a key player he is for us.
“Chris and Mark Phillips formed a strong defensive partnership that our 17-match unbeaten run was built on last year and I’m happy to have him on board for next year.”
Blues remain in contract talks with Freddy Eastwood, Peter Gilbert, Mark Phillips, Christian Dailly and Jean-Paul Kalala.
They also soon hope be able to release details of a pre-season tour.
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