SOUTHEND United’s academy manager Ricky Duncan has heaped praise on Elvis Bwomono ahead of the right-back’s 100th appearance for the club.

Bwomono came through the ranks at Roots Hall.

And Duncan, who signed the defender when he was just 15, is pleased to see Bwomono on the brink of his century of appearances.

“I think you forget how young Elvis is and for him to get to 100 games is phenomenal,” said Duncan.

“When we signed him we always knew he would go on and have a career in the game.

“You could see his athleticism and he’s gone all the way through, working with many different coaches, to the first team.

“I couldn’t be happier for him and the longer we can keep him the better.”

Bwomono was voted Blues’ player of the year last season.

And Duncan feels the youngsters is one of the best full-backs in League Two.

“I think he’s a terrific right-back and you would be hard pushed to find a better one in our league,” said Duncan.

“He’s a solid defender and that shows because he gets picked every week.”

Bwomono was with Queens Park Rangers before joining the Shrimpers.

And Duncan can still remember the defender first coming in to the club.

“He came in with the under 15 on trial,” said Duncan.

“He’d been in at Millwall then he came in to us and I remember we jumped on it straight away as you could just see.

“He was very skinny back then but he was very athletic and had real tenacity to get up and down.

“He’s had to work a lot on his quality which he’s done but he’s a great one to have around.

“He always has a smile on his face and it’s brilliant for him and the football club to have got to 100 games.”