Deacon and Barnard agree one-year deals
Manager Mark Yates confirmed after tonight’s 1-0 win over Reading that strikers Lee Barnard and Roarie Deacon have signed one-year contracts.
Barnard, who was part of the Southend squad which reached the League Two play-offs last season, and former Stevenage striker Deacon have both been with Reds since the start of pre-season and have been prominent during the pre-season games, with Deacon scoring in the first minute of the 4-0 win over Burgess Hill a fortnight ago.
Barnard, 31, began his career at Tottenham and made three appearances for the Premier League giants.
During his White Hart Lane career Lee had loan spells at five clubs before joining Southend on a permanent basis in 2008. After making more than 70 appearances for the Shrimpers he got a move to Southampton, playing 73 times for the Saints over the next four years.
Lee had loan spells with AFC Bournemouth, Oldham and Southend before joining Southend permanently for the second time in his career.
In a career spanning 259 appearances, Lee has scored 77 league and cup goals.
Roarie, 23, started his career as a trainee at Arsenal in 2008, signing his first professional contract two years later.
After failing to establish himself with the Gunners, Roarie joined Stevenage in 2013 and over the next two years made 43 appearances and scored two goals. He has also played three times for England under-19s.
Manager Mark Yates said: “We are delighted to have Lee and Roarie on board. Lee has got a good goalscoring record at a higher level than League 2 and I have been very impressed with him in pre-season.
“Roarie excites me because of his pace and ability. He’s got a good pedigree and is desperate to do well. They will give us good options in the forward positions.
"They've shown the desire to be here, they've persevered and have been rewarded.
"We didn't think we'd be able to do something, but I've managed to persuade the people above me that we need some competition for places.
"I know I haven't signed my full-backs. But with keepers and full-backs to come, I believe we'll have a strong and competitive squad come the first game at Oxford on August 8."
Roarie Deacon scored 15 seconds into his debut in the friendly against Burgess Hill