HIGHLY-RATED Southend United goalkeeper Nathan Bishop has signed his first professional contract at the club.

Bishop - who was on the bench for the Shrimpers' first team for the majority of last season - was invited to train with England last year.

And the 18-year-old is happy to have committed his future to Blues.

"“I’m really excited," said Bishop.

"It’s something I’ve always wanted and dreamed of so I’m really excited to get going again.

“It was a season of amazing opportunities for me. It’s a real shame that Ted [Smith] got injured but it gave an opportunity to me to try and push on and show what I can do.

“I learnt so much from it too,"

Bishop also made his first team debut as a second half substitute at Scunthorpe United last season.

The youngster has put pen to paper on a three-year deal which includes the option of another year.