Rohan Ricketts 'hopeful' over Southend United deal

Rohan Ricketts
Ricketts has been balancing his football with a career in the media

Striker Rohan Ricketts is hoping to complete a move to Southend in order to rekindle his football career.

The 28-year-old has not played in England since leaving Barnsley in 2008.

Following spells in Canada, Hungary, Moldova and Germany, the former Arsenal forward has opened contract talks with Blues boss Paul Sturrock.

"I'm very hopeful, I want to come back and play in England this year and to kick back up the leagues," Ricketts told BBC Essex.

"The Southend fans have taken to me already, whether it's been in the physical, on Twitterexternal-link or on my website, they've been amazing."

Ricketts, who notched a hat-trick in Southend's 5-0 friendly win at Great Wakering Rovers on Tuesday, is a free agent since leaving German outfit SV Wilhelmshaven in May.

"I'm really hungry, I'm really focused. The old Rohan Ricketts probably wouldn't have scored three goals the other night," he said.

"Going away has made me become a man and when you become a man you're more responsible on the pitch.

"I'm grateful to Southend and Paul Sturrock for giving me the opportunity to impress them, now that I've done that I hope that everything can be agreed."

Sturrock had previously told the club websiteexternal-link: "I was impressed with Rohan and will be talking to his agent to see what figures are mentioned.

"He isn't at full match sharpness yet so there is more to come but he's hungry to play and he did very well."

Meanwhile former Plymouth defender Ryan Leonard, 19, has also impressed Sturrock during a trial spell.

"I will be having talks with Ryan as well. He's someone I signed for the youth team at Plymouth, and I've admired from afar ever since," said the Blues boss.