MARK Oxley has expressed his delight after signing a new three year deal at Southend United.

The Shrimpers shot-stopper was linked with a move away from Roots Hall this summer after a stunning season between the sticks.

But Oxley - who was voted player of the year - opted to stay put due to his close working relationship with Blues’ managerial team, chairman Ron Martin’s plans for the future and the way the team ended last season.

“There were a lot of reasons why I agreed to stay and I’m delighted to have got it done early,” said the 27-year-old.

“I could have let it run on throughout the whole of June but I wanted it done before I went on holiday and I’m really glad it’s happened.

“Of course there are always going to be talks when any player is out of contract but I’m very happy to be staying.

“The manager (Chris Powell) has been a breath of fresh air since he came in and I have a really good relationship with the goalkeeping coach Lee Harrison.

“You can’t take something like that for granted and that’s another reason for me staying.

“The chairman has been great too and I’m excited by the future here, especially when you look at the way we ended last season.”

The Shrimpers enjoyed an improved ending to the previous campaign, picking up 32 points in the 18 games managed by Powell.

And Oxley is keen to maintain that progress.

“We had top six form at the end of last season but we want to be able to sustain that now,” said the goalkeeper.

“When you look at the top few teams last season other than Plymouth they were in and around it all season and we want that to be us next year.

“We all want success and I definitely do.

“I’ve had a couple of great years already with Southend and now I’m looking forward to three more.”

And the Sheffield born Oxley is also staying put despite rumoured interest from Championship duo Millwall and Rotherham United.

“You’re always going to look out for how teams you supported as a kid are doing but I’m happy at Southend,” said Oxley.

“The group of lads we have was another reason in me wanting to stay and I have some great friends here too.

“The fans have always been great for me too and this feels like home for me now so I’m happy to be staying here.”