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 Thursday, 21 November, 2002, 17:35 GMT
Southend land Smith
Southend United have signed Aston Villa midfielder Jay Smith on a free transfer.

The 21 year old impressed on a three-month loan at Roots Hall, starting 18 games and winning the club's player-of-the-month award for October.

He has signed an 19-month contract with the Third Division club.

Southend manager Rob Newman told the club's official website: "He's done very well for us. He's brought great enthusiasm to the side and his energy levels are unbelievable.

"He opted to come here when there was interest from Hull as well. For him to choose us when a club the size of Hull are interested is great and hopefully he can continue to do well."

Smith said: "Southend gave me the chance to show what I could do in League football so I felt I wanted to stay."

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