Steve Harris – @steveharris84
Match details: Southend United versus Torquay United
Venue: Roots Hall, Southend
Date: Sunday 15th May 2022
Current Form (last six):
Southend: L, W, W, W, L, D
Torquay: D, L, D, D, W, L
Southend: Sam Dalby (9)
Torquay: Armani Little (15)
Southend fact file:
Year founded: 1906
Nickname: The Shrimpers
Last season’s league finish: 23rd League Two
Division Three/Division Two/League One:
Division Four/Division Three/League Two:
Manager: Kevin Maher
Former Southend midfielder Kevin Maher returned to Roots Hall in October 2021, as the successor to Phil Brown and has helped to steer the Blues away from the foot of the National League table since his arrival.
A former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international, Maher spent a decade with Southend between 1998 and 2008, after joining on a free transfer from Tottenham Hotspur. During this time, he captained the Blues to back-to-back promotion from League Two to the Championship in 2004-05 and 2005-06.
Spells with Oldham Athletic, Gillingham and Dagenham & Redbridge followed before he began his coaching career with Chelmsford City in 2015. He then returned to Roots Hall to coach the Blues’ Under-21 and youth sides before he was appointed as Under-21 manager.
In 2019, he joined Bristol Rovers a first team coach and had two spells as caretaker manager of the Pirates prior to his appointment as Brown’s successor at Roots Hall.
Player to watch: Will Atkinson
Will Atkinson returned to Southend United in August 2021, having previously made 173 appearances for the Blues between 2013 and 2017. The 32-year-old began his career at Hull City, under Brown, but spent most of his five years with the Tigers out on loan, joining Port Vale, Mansfield, Rochdale, Rotherham, Plymouth and Bradford, which turned into a permanent deal.
His first Southend debut came on the opening day of the 2013-14 season and a 1-0 win over Plymouth Argyle at Roots Hall. Atkinson has won three promotions from League Two in his career; with Rochdale in 2009-10, Bradford City in 2012-13 and with Southend in 2014-15 – when they triumphed in the 2015 League Two play-off final against Wycombe Wanderers.