ELVIS Bwomono is determined to build on his promising Southend United debut.

The 18-year-old produced a solid performance in Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat at Gillingham in the Checkatrade Trophy.

And the youngster - who came through the youth ranks at Roots Hall - is now aiming to stay in the first team squad.

“I hope that Tuesday is the first of many and hopefully I can go on to have many successful seasons with Southend,” said Bwomono.

“Words can’t really describe how happy and pleased I was to make my debut because it’s what I’ve been working hard for day in and day out for quite some time now.

“It was quite surreal but I was determined to make sure I played well and I would like to think I did.”

Bwomono has long been highly-rated by the Shrimpers’ coaching set-up having joined the club at the age of 14 following his release from Queens Park Rangers.

The right-back had also been on trial with Millwall before arriving at Blues.

But he was frustrated to have tasted defeat on his first senior start.

“I’m very disappointed we didn’t win because I thought it was a game we should’ve got the victory in,” said Bwomono.

“But I’m very happy with my performance and I felt as though I grew into the game. All I can do is do my talking on the pitch and we’ll see what happens from there but, of course, I hope to stay involved and I would love it if that happened.”

With Blues’ first choice right-back Jason Demetriou away on international duty with Cyprus and John White, Anton Ferdinand, Michael Turner and Rob Kiernan all struggling with injuries, Bwomono seems set to remain in the squad for Saturday’s League One clash with Rochdale.

And Bwomono would again relish the physical side of the game having been on the end of a succession of robust challenges against the Gills.

“That’s the difference at this level,” said Bwomono.

“At this level, people are playing for more than at youth level or in the under-23s and you have to be able to deal with it.”

And Blues boss Phil Brown was full of praise for Bwomono’s display.

“The positives from Tuesday were the three debuts with the main one being Elvis, who stepped up to the plate,” said Brown.

The Trophy tie also saw Amadou Ba make his first Blues start and midfielder Michael Klass handed his debut as a second half substitute.