SOUTHEND United’s youth team will be playing in two different leagues next season.

The Shrimpers will be lining up in the National League Under 19s Academy South League and also the National League Youth Alliance Under 19s League.

The decision will give Blues’ youngsters more game time next season and both leagues are expected to kick off in late August.

Danny Heath has bolstered his squad with 19 new players this summer meaning next season’s squad will consist of 12 first year scholars, 14 second years and five third years.

The new look squad began pre-season training this week and will kick off their warm up fixtures on Saturday.

Blues will field an under 17 side against Cambridge City 18s while an under 19 team will take on Cambridge City’s first team away from home.