SAM Barratt will be looking to brush aside the best League One defences next season.

The 22-year-old winger has now sealed a switch to Southend United from National League side Maidenhead United.

But, despite making the switch to full-time football, Barratt may opt to continue working as an artist.

“I’m a full-time artist and that’s what my job was when I was playing for Maidenhead, who trained two nights a week,” said Barratt.

“I first got into it when I did A-level art and it all carried on from there.

“It’s something I enjoy and I might carry on doing it in some way even though I’ve joined Southend.

“I spoke to the manager about it and it could be a good release from football and something to still do in my spare time.”

As part of his work as an artist, Barratt formed his own company called ‘Inks and Pencils’, which soon made a big impression online.

His work has now been viewed by more than 1.8million people, with close to 3,500 comments being left on his designs.

And Barratt particularly enjoys producing his own footwear.

“I’ve started to make custom made trainers and they’ve gone down really well with my mates in football,” said Barratt.

“They’ve been wearing them and asking me to make more, which I have been doing.

“It’s something I also enjoy but, of course, it’s the football that matters most to me and where my main focus is.

“That’s why I’m so excited to have been given the chance to come to Southend and play full-time.”

Barratt became Blues boss Chris Powell’s first signing of the summer after catching the eye while with Maidenhead United last season.

The winger made 39 appearances, 22 of which were as a substitute, and netted seven goals.

Barratt also ended the campaign with 11 assists and averaged a goal or an assist every 126 minutes.

The wideman won two caps for England C last season.