SOUTHEND United’s director of football Ricky Duncan is eager to help build a positive future for the club.

The Shrimpers find themselves in the National League next season after suffering two successive relegations.

But Duncan, who has overseen the club’s academy for the past 16 years, is keen to look forward not back. 

"We’ve got to think about the future and look forward because that’s all we can do,” said Duncan.

“We can’t keep going on about the negatives that have happened, it’s got to stop.

“Yes it’s our job to be positive and it will always come down to what happens on the field but it’s been negative constantly.

“It’s been a real shame and we just imploded really but we’ve come through that.

“I’ve heard people in the past say you reach a certain level before bouncing back up again and I’m getting that feeling around the club now.

“Our aim has to be to get back up but there’s a positive feeling at the club and Phil (Brown) has generated that.”

Brown returned to Roots Hall for the final six games of last season before agreeing a permanent deal in the summer.

Since the Shrimpers chief signed his deal, Duncan has been promoted into a more senior role.

And it is one he is already relishing.

“It’s been long hours but it’s a new challenge and I’m enjoying it,” said Duncan.

“I like having something new in front of me to get my teeth into.

“Even though I’ve been in and around it for 16 years and I’ve been involved with different managers who have involved me behind the scenes this is the chance to be really involved.”

And Duncan is now playing a leading part in Blues’ transfer negotiations.

“There’s a job to be done and we need to get players in,” said Duncan.

“I’m dealing with agents which I do anyway with the academy but it’s just doing it at senior level now. All of a sudden I’m everyone’s friend and I’ve never had so many messages from people!

“I’ve had messages from Norway, Denmark, all over really and it’s been interesting. I’m enjoying all aspects of it.”

Duncan continues to work closely with the managerial team in place and feels they have the character needed to get Blues back on track. “We’re all strong characters but there’s real honesty and we can be like that without worrying anyone will be offended,” said Duncan.

“We’re all grown men and we all have our say. That’s healthy and no-one will walk out the door being petty about anything. We all have our say and Phil, Craig (Fagan), Ron (Martin) and Anton (Robinson) and myself speak all the time.”

Blues have already made four signings this summer with Josh Coulson, James Dunne, Jack Bridge and Rhys Murphy all joining.