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Sonny Coutts' star is on the rise with Southend United
SONNY Coutts has continued his progression at Southend United by impressing for the club’s under 18 side.
Since then, the Sweyne Park pupil has worked his way through the age groups.
And Duncan felt Coutts was his side’s best player in their 3-0 victory against Northampton Town at the Boots & Laces training ground last weekend.
“Sonny has been with us a long time but he came in on Saturday and was man of the match in my eyes because I thought he was brilliant,” said Duncan.
“He showed no fear, won the ball well and also looked comfortable when it was at his feet.
“He’s been here a while now so he knows what we expect from a centre-back but it was certainly very pleasing to see him come in and do well.
“He’s also a local lad which people like and hopefully he’ll keep working hard now to continue his improvements.”
Coutts is also eager to keep on impressing up against older players as he strives to win a scholarship to stay with the Shrimpers.
And he is therefore keen to make the most of opportunities coming his way.
“When I get my chance I want to show people that I’m good enough to play at a better level and a higher age group and I enjoy it,” said Coutts.
“I’d like to play in the FA Youth Cup, that’s been my goal this year and, even if Josh Banton is there and not with the first team, I want to get on the bench and come on, I’ll be happy with that.”
But, playing against more experienced players is nothing new for Coutts who has bounced back well from an indifferent season he suffered a couple of years ago.
“That was quite a bad season but last year I did well and I’ve played in a year above most seasons now,” said Coutts.
“Some of the players I’m playing against now I’ve played against before, but the players two years above is a big physical step for me “It’s difficult and I’ve come up against a lot more physical strikers, players probably bigger than me, but what you’ve got to do is just defend well, be brave and keep moving the ball quickly when you’re on the ball.”
“Maybe last year, when I used to watch youth team games I used to think, at the time, I couldn’t see myself physically in that game but I don’t think like that anymore.
“Maybe I do with the first team but I’ll keep trying to do well and when you see other lads, like Josh Banton, going with the first team you hope you can do that too.
“That’s why I’m here and hopefully I’ll get my chance in a couple of years.”