Southend United have been handed a boost with the news that long-serving skipper, Johns White has put pen to paper on a contract extension which will see him handed a testimonial at the conclusion of the next campaign.
Boss, Phil Brown was delighted to tie down the dependable defender as he looks to build a squad capable of returning to the Football League at the first attempt.
“It’s fantastic news,” Brown told www.southendunited.co.uk.
“Even though the club has gone down into the fifth tier, I signed John as a second division player. He then became a first division player which he proved himself at and fitted into the squad very nicely.
“He progressed with the club to the higher leagues but unfortunately has been part and parcel of two relegations.
“He’s not one that shirks responsibility. I’ve offered him a deal which is a win-win situation going into his testimonial year.
“A guy that gives such a long service for one club is a rarity now, it’s not the norm.
“I hope the supporters support him in the various events that we’ll have scattered throughout the year.
Brown continued: “John’s been captain of the club and he knows what it’s about to wear the shirt and wear it with pride. There’s nobody that will give you a better definition of what it means to him and the supporters, the fact we’ve gone back-to-back relegations.
“He wants to put that right and I’m delighted for him and I’m delighted for Southend United.
“He knows what I’m about, he knows what I expect from a team and he will be passing that knowledge and information on in the changing room.”
Meanwhile, Blues have announced their retained list, with no less than seven of last season’s squad offered new deals, while twelve have either been released or returned to parent clubs as Brown’s rebuilding programme begins to take shape.
Southend United’s retained list in full is as follows;
Players Under Contract; John White, Nathan Ferguson, Harry Phillips, Lewis Gard, Miles Mitchell-Nelson, Eren Kinali, Simeon Akinola, Ashley Nathaniel-George, Louis Walsh
Taken up options; Jon Benton, Tom Clifford, Terrell Egbri, Rob Howard, Matt Rush, Harry Seaden, O’Shane Stewart
Offered pro contract; Reiss Chandler
Offered new contracts; Elvis Bwomono, Jason Demetriou, Tim Dieng, Sam Hart, Shaun Hobson, Ricky Holmes, Mark Oxley
Released; Emile Acquah, Brandon Goodship, Harry Kyprianou, Alan McCormack, Jacob Mellis, Richard Taylor, Michael Klass, Ide Osimeh
Returned to parent club; Tyler Cordner, Kyle Taylor, Reeco Hackett-Fairchild, James Olayinka