SOUTHEND United manager Kevin Bond felt Ted Smith needed to move on to further his career.

The former England youth international made just one appearance last season.

And Bond is certain the shot-stopper will benefit from leaving the Shrimpers.

“Ted’s an excellent trainer and a great boy but he needs to be playing regular first-team football which I have no doubt he will find,” said Blues boss Bond.

“I would like to wish him the very best of luck and thank him for his service to the club.

“He has been at Southend for a long period of time.

“But, mainly due to circumstances, he has found himself down the pecking order with three frontline goalkeepers around the first-team squad.”

Smith came through the youth ranks at Roots Hall and made 30 appearances for the first team but saw his progress halted by a serious shoulder injury which sidelined him for more than a year.