Date: 24th June 2014 at 9:59pm
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Southend United have today confirmed that striker Lee Barnard, Goalkeeper Paul Smith and youngster Jack Payne have all committed to the club for the 2014-15 season.

Barnard initially joined us on a six month loan deal from Southampton, but he had already agreed a 12 month deal back with us in January, and that will now commence this summer, presumably from July 1st.

Smith has also signed a 12 month deal, whilst Payne, enjoying his breakthrough season last term, has penned a 12 month deal, with an option for a further year.

Barnard since his return, went on to only score once in 14 appearances but he’ll certainly be looking to have a good pre season to help him kickstart his scoring ways again having not had much first team action really before he joined us.

Smith was Bentley’s understudy last term, but will be looking to challenge the youngster to get the No 1 spot himself and of course Payne made the step up from our youth academy, and made a huge impression last season, making 15 appearances for the first team whilst also playing his part as skipper of our development side all season.

In outgoing news, as fans know, Anthony Straker has moved on to York City and defender Julian Bennett will not be returning for the coming campaign. Mark Phillips has also signed for AFC Wimbledon.

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