SOUTHEND United youth coach Dave Huzzey cannot wait to see Dru Yearwood lining up in the Championship.

The 19-year-old midfielder has joined Brentford in a deal believed to be worth £500,000.

But Yearwood initially failed to shine in the Shrimpers’ youth set-up.

“I first worked with Dru in the under-13s and to be honest he didn’t really stand out to begin with,” said Huzzey.

“He had bags of pace and he played on the wing or as a forward.

“He came in from Arsenal so he was technically good but he was lacking a little bit of football intelligence at the time.

“He needed refining and he was actually one of the last ones to be offered a scholarship from the under-16s.”

Yearwood was offered a deal, still playing on the wing or in attack.

But it was not until he switched to central midfield in the under-18s that his true talent began to emerge.

“We were still playing him out wide and up front to start off with and it wasn’t really going for him,” said Huzzey.

“I said to Ricky (Duncan) about playing Dru in the middle of midfield and he said to give it a go.

“From then on he did well and within a few months he was playing in the first team.

“He was playing for them when he was still a first year scholar and it was great to see.”

Yearwood went on to make 61 first team appearances for the Shrimpers.

And Huzzey feels the youngster’s will to win also helped him to make the step up.

“He’s an excellent lad who is very dedicated and he also has such a will to win,” said Huzzey.

“I remember when we would lose in the youth team Dru would often be close to tears and it would be the same if he lost in training.

“He always wants to win and that’s a good thing to have.

“But he’s always been very respectful.

“Even when he was in the first team he would come into our office and ask all about the youth team and the under-23s.”

And Huzzey also insisted Blues’ academy would take great pride in Yearwood’s progress.

“Lots of coaches have worked with him and we’re proud we got to see him fulfil his potential with Southend,” he added.