SOUTHEND United have offered scholarships to eight of their young players.

Goalkeeper Nathan Bishop, left back Yonis Farah, centre-backs Zak Pianim and Taylor Curran, midfielder Harry Cuthbert, winger Dru Yearwood and strikers Eren Kinali and Sewa Marah will all be part of the Shrimpers’ under 18 squad next season.

And Blues coach Dave Huzzey is looking forward to working with the talented youngsters.

“This is the group I worked with when I was coaching in the academy three or four years ago so I already know a few of them,” said Huzzey.

“They will certainly have the mentality to work which is what you need and it’s certainly a group which has plenty of potential.

“Their age-group is very strong and we spent a lot of time making sure we brought the right ones through.

“It’s always tough making these decisions but Ricky Duncan, Danny Heath, Rob Polkinghorn and myself had plenty of conversations about what should happen.

“But we’re happy with the players we’ve got and we look forward to working with them next season as they add to an already talented group.”

Eight of this season’s under 18 side have now moved on to be part of Blues’ under 21 team next term.

However, Huzzey warned the new batch of teenagers that it could not be taken for granted that their scholars would all be extended.

“All of the new scholars will be given two year deals with the option of a third year on top of that,” explained Huzzey.

“But it’s not automatically triggered.

“They have to work hard and play well to be given that third year and that’s the challenge now facing these new players.”

The new intake will also be introduced to the Roots Hall crowd at a first team game before the end of the League One season.”