SOUTHEND United boss Kevin Maher feels the signing of Harry Cardwell shows the Shrimpers are ready to compete in the National League.

Cardwell has put pen to paper on a two and half year deal with Blues.

And Maher feels 25-year-old Cardwell, who joined from Chorley, will be a big addition for Blues.

"He’s someone straight away that we earmarked and kept an eye on and I think it shows where we’re going as a club and what we’re trying to achieve,” said Maher.

“It’s an important one to show that we’re ready to compete at this level and I think he will do ever so well for us.

"He’s a great age, got loads of room for improvement but he’s also ready to play now.

"We’ve done our due diligence on players and we’re going to be doing that as we go along.

"When the deal was made possible to do, we were delighted.”

And Maher was delighted to be supported by the Shrimpers’ board. "For the club to back us, the chairman, Tom [Lawrence] and everyone connected with the football side, I think it’s great,” said Maher.

"He’s going to be good for the club and we’re going to be good for him.

"Coming in he’s going to be hungry.

“He wants to play for the club and has seen what we’re trying to do.

"He’s a proper centre forward too.

“They’re a bit of a dying breed now but he will get hold of the ball, he scores different types of goals, he’ll be good for the team and will bring more out of everyone else as well.”

"He’s here to improve us and we will improve him as well so that’s important."