SOUTHEND United manager Chris Powell is pleased to have made Sam Barratt his first signing of the summer - after months of tracking the winger.

Powell has signed Barratt on an initial year long deal from Maidenhead United.

And the Shrimpers boss is looking forward to working with the ‘unorthodox’ winger.

“I’m pleased to bring Sam in and he’s a player we watched extensively throughout the second half of last season since I came into the club,” said Powell.

“He’s an unorthodox winger, if I can put it that way, in that he’s tall and most wingers are normally very small.

“He’s got a wonderful left foot, he’s a good crosser of the ball, likes to shoot and take players on, he can score goals with his head and can play off the left, off the right or centrally so I’m excited to bring him in.

“We heard good things so we kept an eye on him and how he was doing and we felt it was the right time for us to act.

“He’s a player that has been on the radar of a number of clubs at all levels so it’s good for us to have got him.”

Barratt had been with Maidenhead since 2014 and caught the eye with some fine displays down the left flank.

And Powell is also pleased to have completed the deal early enough for 22-year-old Barratt to enjoy pre-season training with the Shrimpers.

“Sam will have pre-season with us which is great,” said Powell.

“We will get to know his qualities as a player but also as a character and him fitting in with us.

“We’ve heard good things in that respect and he’s at an age where he can only develop with us and how we’re trying to move forward as a team.

“I think he will just add another dimension to the squad and I wish him well because I feel he’s got all the attributes to do well at this level.”

Barratt will add more competition for places out side following the departure of Jermaine McGlashan at the end of last season.

And the wide-man will be eager to force his way into the starting line-up by impressing during a pre-season campaign Powell hopes to be announcing soon.

“We have organised a few things but I think it’s better to wait until everything is confirmed before announcing,” said Powell.

“We will start off with a local non league team away and hopefully we will be going abroad too.

“We also hope to play higher opposition at home.”