Shrimpers raid Blades
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Southend have bolstered their squad with the signing of Sheffield United's Simon Francis.
League One champions Southend United have bolstered their squad with the signing of Sheffield United defender Simon Francis.
The 21-year-old was informed by Blades boss Neil Warnock that he was no longer required at Bramall Lane following the Yorkshire club's promotion.
Francis enjoyed a loan spell with Tranmere last season but has now joined The Shrimpers as they prepare for life in The Championship.
After signing a three-year deal, for an undisclosed fee, Francis revealed that his prior knowledge of Southend boss Steve Tilson from the England Under-21 setup was crucial to the transfer.
"Although Peter Taylor was the manager, Steve helped me out a lot and he seemed like a really nice guy when I was away with the Under-21's," Francis told the club's official website.
"It always helps that you have met the manager before you sign for a club and that was a big factor."