SOUTHEND United youngsters Matt Rush and Taylor Curran are both setting their sights high with the Shrimpers this season.

Rush’s fine form in Blues’ warm-up fixtures has already seen him called up into the under-23 squad.

And the 16-year-old is now eager to keep on impressing.

“It’s gone really well coming in,” said the first year scholar.

“There have been a lot of new things coming into the academy but it’s all been positive and it’s good to be training full time as there’s not much down time.”

Rush - who is from Wickford and is a former Bromfords School pupil - has been at the club since first signing in the under-14 age-group.

But he believes the Shrimpers youth side will be able to secure success this season.

“I want us to win the league and that’s what we’re aiming for,” said the striker.

“I would love to push to play in the under-23s and another target of mine is to score 15 goals.”

At the other end of the field, Curran is also determined to catch the eye at the heart of the Shrimpers’ back four.

The 17-year-old defender was called up into the under-23 squad for the clash at Maidstone United on Saturday.


Wanting to impress - Taylor Curran

But he is also aiming to help the under-18 side impress.

“Last year we did quite well but we’ve got a very good side this year so we should be looking to win the league and do better in the FA Youth Cup too,” said Curran, who was watched by Wales scouts at the weekend.

“All the first years are really strong and they’re better than I thought they would be if I’m honest.

“The team has gelled really well and I think we look strong.”

The Blues’ youngsters have also enjoyed a fine pre-season, which included an impressive 4-2 win at Charlton Athletic.

And Curran now wants to take that form into the start of the season.

“Pre-season has been good and there’s been a really good atmosphere because we’re all really close and well connected,” said Curran.

“It’s been a hard pre-season and there has been a lot of running.

“Everyone came back fit and we’ve pushed on from there with the work we’ve been doing and the results have been good. We won at Watford and even the 5-0 defeat at Chelsea wasn’t that bad.”

But Curran also has high individual aspirations this term.

“I’ll be aiming to get into the under-23s,” said Curran.

“I want to keep pushing on but I need to do well for the 18s first.”