From my days growing up in the city, I can always remember the Daily Echo being there.

Even when I became a player, I couldn’t wait for The Pink to come out on a Saturday evening.

I’d always enjoy reading the results and reports on Saints and beyond to the local non-league teams and various sports being played across the city.

With that in mind, it’s an honour to be joining the Daily Echo’s team as a weekly contributor to the Saturday column.

I’m super excited to be able to share my thoughts, views and memories with readers both online and in print.

With this being my first column, it would be remiss of me not to mention Lawrie, whose shoes I hope to fill.

I’ve always enjoyed reading his views on football and hope to do the column justice. Hopefully, people get as much enjoyment reading it as they have done over the years Lawrie has been contributing.

Lawrie and I have developed a strong relationship over the years, and I still remain in contact with him to this day. He’s been there, as have his family, for a long time now - he’s a big personality.

He was very kind to dedicate his column in the past to speaking about the charity fundraisers I have done, something which I remain incredibly grateful to him for and to the readers for pledging their support.

With so much fantastic charity work being done by some of my former teammates and the Saints Foundation, I hope to be able to continue shining a light on those great causes.

Daily Echo:

I can still remember the day he turned up on the doorstep of my family home. He arrived with the goal of convincing my mother, more than me, that Southampton were the right football club for me to develop as a player and a young person.

Saints were always going to be the club for me. As I sit here now, I can look back at that memory with full confidence that he was right – not that I needed any convincing.

By the time I had joined Saints as an apprentice, he had left the club, ending his long tenure as manager.

That wasn't the last I saw of him though as he later came back into my career when he returned to the club as director of football.

I’m sure I’ll be able to share many more memories of Lawrie and the long list of other club legends I have brushed shoulders with over the years.

I’ll also be discussing a wide range of current football topics – with Saints naturally rising to the top of that list.

Some readers may have seen some of the videos I have done analysing Saints’ performances this season on social media.

I hope that in weeks to come when the side returns to league action following the end of the international break, I will be able to further develop my thoughts on the side’s fortunes.

It’s been brilliant to see the club in a great run of form, which has made up for the disappointment of four back-to-back defeats in September.

Being unbeaten in eight - winning six and drawing two games - sets us up nicely for the busy run-in of games during the rest of the year.

There have been lots of positive signs, including the long-awaited debut of Ross Stewart, who has now recovered from his injury.

Daily Echo: Ross Stewart made his Saints debut against West Brom on Saturday

He will be a big boost to the squad and will only add to the competition for places in the team - which can only be a healthy thing.

I am really excited about the upcoming games at the end of the international break. Fourth place is a solid foundation to push on for more important results towards the end of the year.

On a side note, it was brilliant to see some pictures of Maya Yoshida training with the current crop of players at Staplewood. He was a fantastic servant to us as a club and an equally brilliant person.

Regarding the internationals, let's hope that everyone can return from the break fully fit. I’ve seen that Will Smallbone hasn’t travelled with Ireland for their game against the Netherlands - hopefully, it’s nothing serious.

We will need everyone to be in top condition ahead of the trip to Huddersfield in the league next weekend. Looking at the table, Huddersfield are down in 21st.

On paper that may look like a straightforward fixture, but as we know the Championship doesn’t work like that.

We will need to have everyone back rearing to go for the next game. I’m sure we will also discuss things that are happening in the wider world of football, be that the Premier League, the Championship, England or elsewhere.

Being someone who was born and raised in the city, I could also share my experiences in the local community.

I have never done anything like this before beyond writing matchday programme notes for the club in previous years, but as mentioned previously, I can’t wait to get started.