(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)
Southend United midfielder Stephen McLaughlin has penned a new three-year deal with League One club.
The 27-year-old Irishman, arrived at Roots Hall in 2015, initially on loan from Nottingham Forest, and helped Phil Brown’s men win promotion to the third-tier via a thrilling play-off campaign that saw him score in the semi-final and start the dramatic final.
The following season, McLaughlin made the move to Southend permanent, and the midfielder enjoyed his best campaign in a Shrimpers shirt in 2016-17, when he scored eight goals in 38 games – despite being ruled out of action for two months.
Speaking to the club’s official website, McLaughlin said: “I’m already settled here but now I know my future I can really look forward to the next few years and what it holds for me.”
Meanwhile, ahead of a friendly against Premier League newcomers Brighton tonight, McLaughlin’s midfield counterpart Michael Timlin told Southend’s website that the Seagulls can act as inspiration for the Essex club.
“What has benefitted Brighton to an extent is once they got the new stadium and training ground, that’s a big factor.” said Timlin.
“If you want to entice players at a higher level to drop down you need to have facilities that are really good.
“We’re hoping that something can happen with the new stadium because it’s been proved with Brighton that once they got the new stadium, the Chairman puts a bit more money into the club and if you work hard and there’s a good foundation, there’s no reason you can’t go up.”