BOREHAM Wood midfielder Josh Rees cannot wait to start the National League season at Southend United on Saturday – despite the ribbing he will receive at Roots Hall.

The former Southend High School pupil is good friends with a number of Shrimpers supporters.

And Rees admits there is no way they will be supporting him this weekend.

“I have a lot of friends who support Southend but they will definitely be cheering for Southend and not me," said Rees, who lives in Leigh.

"They will give me stick I’m sure and normally go in the Blue Voice section so I’ll hear them as well.

"But I’m massively looking forward to it.

"When the fixtures came out I looked for Gateshead away and worried it might be on a Tuesday night and for Southend too.

"But Southend would always be the first one I look for."

Rees scored 10 goals in 39 games for Boreham Wood last season before his campaign was cut short by a broken collarbone.

And that injury meant the 28-year-old missed out on last season's visit to the Shrimpers.

"It was disappointing I couldn't play last year but I feel like I've had a good pre-season and feel good again now," said Rees.

"Pre-season has been busy with lots of games but it’s been productive and the manager has bought some really good players in too.

"We’ve got an inner belief in our squad and we showed it last season.

"We were right in the mix for a long time but unfortunately tailed off at the end a bit and we want to do better this year."

That quest will start against the Shrimpers but Rees also feels Kevin Maher's side will be up towards the top of the table this term.

"I think Southend will be strong this year too," said Rees.

"They had real momentum when Kev came in last year and have recruited well this summer too.

"I've played against quite a few of the signings they've made so I know they're good players and I honestly do think they will be up there.

"I think they will be one of the better teams."

And Rees would also like to see the Shrimpers doing well this season "My allegiances are obviously with Boreham Wood but after Saturday I hope Southend go well," said Rees.

"I always try to get to Roots Hall once or twice a season when the fixtures don't clash and I went to Wembley to watch them in the play-offs."

But has Rees ever come close to joining Blues?

"There were a few whispers last year but it didn’t materialise in the end," said Rees.

"I had a trial there when I was about 18 or 19 but it’s never really seemed to happen.

"Never say never though, it might happen one day.

"I always keep my eye on the club and I’ve been a lot over the years.

"I always enjoy playing at Roots Hall and it’s a nice stadium to play at so I can't wait for Saturday now."


>Blues boss Maher still keen to add to his squad