Southend have signed defender Garry Richards for an undisclosed fee from Essex rivals Colchester.
Richards had a loan spell at Brentford in League One last term
The 21-year-old centre-back has signed a two-year deal at Roots Hall.
"I felt we needed another defender to boost our options at the back. Garry is a big, strong, tall defender," boss Steve Tilson told the club website.
"(Recent signing) Zoltan Liptak is a good prospect, but he is at least six months off being fully up to speed with the English game."
Richards made 20 league appearances for Colchester since his debut in September 2005, while he also had a 10-game loan spell at Brentford last season.
The deal was completed on Saturday morning - a day after the two clubs were at loggerheads over Shrimpers defender Adam Barrett.
Colchester revealed they had made an "undisclosed six-figure" bid for the 27-year-old - but Southend chairman Ron Martin said "under no circumstances will Adam be leaving".