TOM Clifford has signed a new two year deal at Southend United.

The 23-year-old left-back has made 60 appearances for the Shrimpers since working his way through the youth ranks at Roots Hall.

And Clifford - whose deal includes the option of a further year - is pleased to be staying with Blues.

“I’m buzzing to get the contract done and to be back in pre-season training getting ready for the new season,” said the defender.

“It was always going to happen at some point, there was just a few bits to sort out but it was always going to happen.

“It’s always special for an Academy player and I’m just happy to be back now.”

Clifford was restricted to 21 appearances due to injury last season.

And he is keen to be more involved this time around.

Echo: New deal - for Blues defender Tom Clifford New deal - for Blues defender Tom Clifford

“Last year I was hit with a bit of a bad injury at the end of pre-season which hindered the start for me but touch wood I’ll come through without any injuries this year,” said Clifford.

“The gaffer wants me to build on last season, become a better player and play more than I did last season.

“I’ve made more than 50 appearances for the club now and I’d like to think I can move past 100 for this club with this new deal which would be a great number.”

But Clifford is also determined to taste success as a team and is setting his sights high this season.

“We want to be up there in the table come the end of the season,” he added.


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