SOUTHEND United’s promising goalkeeper Harry Seaden relished the chance to take on Arsenal in the quarter finals of the FA Youth Cup - despite not getting the result he wanted.

The 16-year-old - who has represented England at various age-groups - was given the the opportunity to line up for Colchester United against the Gunners.

And Seaden was keen to look at the positives after suffering a 5-1 defeat against the impressive Londoners.

“It was a great experience for me to play against such an elite side and I learnt a lot which is the main thing at my age,” said Seaden.

“I wasn’t particularly pleased with my performance and the result wasn’t what I wanted either but I was grateful for the chance.”

Seaden made four appearances for Colchester throughout the FA Youth Cup after the U’s had decided not to renew the contract of their own goalkeeper.

The U’s goalkeeping coach Paul Smith knew of Seaden’s talents through his own time at Roots Hall.

And Seaden was happy to experience another kind of game.

“I’ve played for quite a few teams this season and they’ve all been different but I’ve taken a lot from them all and it’s been good,” said the former FitzWimarc School pupil.

“I also had a good relationship with Paul right back from when I used to go into train in the school holidays so it was good to be able to work with him again.”

Seaden has lined for the Shrimpers at under 18 and 23 level this season and also spent time on loan at Evo-Stik South East side Cambridge City.

The youngster also appeared for England’s under 17 team and Blues’ academy manager Ricky Duncan is pleased for Seaden to be getting so many opportunities.

“Colchester had made some decisions on their own goalkeepers so we allowed Harry the chance to play for them to get more experience,” said Duncan.

“He didn’t play in our FA Youth Cup game because Nathan Bishop got the nod but this will put him in good stead for our campaign next season so it’s good he got the chance.”

And joining Seaden in the Colchester side on Tuesday night was right-back Rob Howard who could also be with the Shrimpers next season.

“Rob has been at Colchester but he won’t be staying there so he’s been with us for the last few weeks and we’ve made him an offer now,” said Duncan.

“In the past he’s been in midfield but he’s done well at right-back and if he does come in we would have three very young right-backs with Elvis Bwomono and Dan Humphrey already here.”