Ever since Kevin Maher and his coaching team were appointed at Southend United it has been a breath of fresh air for everyone at the club. Following two consecutive relegations, Maher and his team steadied the sinking ship by finishing 13th when under Phil Brown it appeared as if two consecutive relegations could become a third. The new management team arrived in October with a team low in confidence and one that was struggling to pick up points.
Maher’s first game was at Dagenham & Redbridge which ended in a 3-0 defeat with goals in the second half from Mo Sagaf and a brace from Sam Ling. From Boxing Day until midway through March, the Shrimpers went on a 13-game unbeaten run which put them as potential outsiders for the play-offs. But where are the players now from the defeat at Dagenham & Redbridge and how many are still at Roots Hall?
Harry Seaden – Billericay Town
The former England U17 international joined Isthmian Premier League side Billericay Town this summer in search of regular first team football, which he didn’t get much of at Roots Hall. Before his move to Billericay Town, Seaden was on trial at EFL Championship sides Derby County and Swansea City.
Rob Howard – Welling United
Howard had a host of opportunities at right back under Maher but he went to Farnborough on loan in February for the remainder of the season. He was subsequently released before he signed for Welling United in the Vanarama National League South this summer.
Shaun Hobson – Southend United
Hobson has been a mainstay in the Southend United backline ever since he arrived in 2020. This season, he has more competition for places with the arrival of Louis Lomas and the 24-year-old was named Player of the Season in the 2020/21 campaign.
John White – Braintree Town
White will go down as a Southend United legend for a host of special moments including his goal against Sunderland to keep the Shrimpers in League One in the 2018/19 season. He made 288 appearances in nine seasons at Roots Hall, and he will be looking to carry on his success to Braintree Town this season.
Nathan Ferguson – Wealdstone
Ferguson has been a Wealdstone player since February after his release by Southend United. One of the most memorable moments he had with Southend United would have been his 40-yard thunderbolt against Forest Green Rovers in a 3-1 win.
Abu Ogogo – Free Agent
Phil Brown’s signings last summer were mainly experienced players who had a track record of promotion to the Football League – Ogogo was one of them. However, he was released this summer after the club didn’t extend his stay despite having an option of a further year.
James Dunne – Welling United
The former Barnet man was brought in by Brown as an experienced midfield option. He has had some good displays and some not so good and he was a good utility player at the end of last season. Alongside Howard, Dunne joined Welling United this summer.
Jack Bridge – Southend United
Bridge was one of a few signings Brown made that have been a success. He was a bright spark in the side when things were not going to plan and he has been consistent since he joined the club. The former Southend United academy player can also play in multiple positions.
Terrell Egbri – Bishop’s Stortford
Egbri featured a lot under Brown and he has had several loan moves during his time at Roots Hall. He joined Farnborough on loan last season and he is now at Bishop’s Stortford as they look for promotion to the sixth tier.
Rhys Murphy – Southend United
Since coming to Roots Hall from Yeovil Town last summer, Murphy has had a mixed time in a Southend United shirt. He is still on the sidelines with a knee problem that he suffered at the beginning of the year and the 31-year-old could be returning soon.
Sam Dalby – Wrexham
After winning the Southend United Young Player of the Year award last season with 10 goals to his name, Dalby attracted interest from elsewhere after a productive season. Wrexham signed him and the wages he will be getting in Wales will be much more than at Southend United.
It is fair to say that Southend United have come a long way since this 3-0 defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge. Only three players that started the match are still at Roots Hall with the vast majority of them now at different clubs. But what do you think of Maher’s first line-up as Southend United manager and how different is it from then, to now?