DEFENDER Osei Sankofa is hoping to become a regular fixture in the Southend United starting line-up after signing for the Shrimpers yesterday.

The 23-year-old, who was recently released by Championship club Charlton Athletic, has put pen to paper on a two-year free transfer deal.

He is hoping to kick-start his career at Roots Hall.

He said: "Being released by Charlton was really disappointing. But if I was to go to any club that is going forward then this would be the one I would choose.

"Charlton are a reasonably big club and it was difficult to make the breakthrough.

"They were in the Premiership for a number of years and it was disappointing not to play more.

"I still believe I can get back to that level one day and it would be nice if that was with Southend."

Sankofa made 19 first team appearances while at the Valley, but he is hoping for more first team opportunities with the Shrimpers.

The defender can play at both right-back and centre-back and he is keeping his fingers crossed that such versatility can help him work his way into Steve Tilson's starting line-up.

"I can play at right-back, centre-back and was even thrown in at left-back once which I didn't really enjoy," he said.

"Being versatile will hopefully help and that will mean playing as many games as possible here with a bit of luck."

Sankofa will provide cover and competition at the back for Blues following the departures of Lewis Hunt, Che Wilson and Zoltan Liptak.

Question marks also surround the future of transfer listed centre-back Peter Clarke so manager Steve Tilson was delighted to have captured the youngster's services.

"Osei can play in a couple of positions which is always useful," said the Blues boss.

"I am pleased to have brought him to the club and he is at an age where he is hungry and wants to play first team football. I am sure he will do well for us during his time here."

Sankofa becomes Southend's third signing of the summer, following in the footsteps of goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall and another ex-Charlton Athletic trainee James Walker.