KEVIN Keen has resigned as assistant manager of Southend United.

Keen, who was brought in as a member of the backroom staff at Roots Hall with Chris Powell in charge, has been appointed the academy under-18s lead coach at Premier League side West Ham United.

And Blues insist Keen has left with the club’s blessing.

A statement read: "Following an approach from West Ham United, Kevin Keen has resigned from his assistant manager role at Southend United to take up the position of academy under-18s lead coach at West Ham.

"At the time of Chris Powell leaving, Kevin indicated his wish to return to academy football but nevertheless continued to be wholeheartedly committed to the club throughout the remainder of the season.

"Southend United are disappointed to lose Kevin but understand and respect his wishes having described the job at West Ham as his 'perfect job'.

"Kevin therefore leaves with our blessing and very best wishes for the future."