CRAIG Fagan has been named Southend United's new under 23 team coach.

Fagan - who played in the Premier League with Hull City, Derby County and Birmingham City - during his own career - previously worked within the youth set up at Blues.

And, after a spell coaching Hull's under 16 side, Fagan has now returned to Roots Hall to take over from Kevin Maher, much to the delight of Blues' academy manager Ricky Duncan.

"We had a lot of good candidates for the role and Craig came out on top in that, so I’m pleased that we’ve got him," said Duncan.

"He knows all the players and he’s a very good coach.

"Craig will bring a lot of his playing experience, he knows how we like to coach and he knows how we want to produce players and the values we’ve got as an academy.

"Having worked for us part-time a while ago we got to know him.

"At the time he came and spoke to us that he wanted to get on his coaching pathway so he worked for over a year within the academy before leaving to go to Hull.

"I think his enthusiasm in the interview to want to come back to Southend really swayed it.

"He’s had to resign his post at Hull which shows he’s prepared to do that.

"That speaks volumes that he wants to achieve something here.”

And Fagan is also excited by his new role.

"I’m coming to somewhere I already know and had some joy in a sense that some of the lads that are already here when I was coaching the under 16s ended up getting scholars," said Fagan.

"That’s a bit of a draw to come back and be involved with these lads again, so I can’t wait to get started.

"It’s under 23 manager which is a bit more added responsibility to what I was doing at Hull so it’s another step in the right direction for me.

"I’ve worked with everyone in the academy before so it will be an easier transition but I still want to be testing myself on the training field and making the players better."