MARK Phillips has expressed his sadness at leaving Southend United.
The experienced centre-back has not been offered a new deal by Blues boss Phil Brown.
But Phillips, who made 114 appearances in four seasons with the club, insisted he would be departing Roots Hall with a host of happy memories.
“I’m sad to be leaving Southend because I’ve had some great times here, but all good things have to come to an end,” said the 32-year-old.
“I really took the club to my heart and I think when there have been so many positives you should always look at them and not the negatives.”
Phillips came to the club during the summer of 2010 and, after enduring an injury hit first season, he soon started to show his qualities at the heart of the back four.
As a result, the former Millwall man was voted player of the year by the club’s fans for the 2011/12 campaign.
But he remains frustrated not to have helped the club work their way out of League Two that year.
“We had a great season in 2011/2012 and should definitely have gone up,” said Phillips.
“Missing out like we did hurt but that year was still enjoyable and for me personally it was nice to win player of the year.
“That whole season and beating Leyton Orient to get to Wembley would be the biggest high points for me, but I’ve really loved my whole time here.”
And Phillips was keen to thank the Blues fans for making his stint with the Shrimpers so enjoyable.
“The Southend fans are amazing and I always felt I had a good relationship with them, so I would like to say a massive thank you to them all,” said the defender.
“The club will always be with me from now on and I’m sure I will be seen back at Roots Hall on a few occasions cheering on the Shrimpers.”
But Phillips will now be focusing on a hectic summer as he tries to secure a move to another club.
“It’s going to be a busy time but I had a good end to the season with Aldershot and helped them stay up which was good,” said the centre-back.
“I’ve had one offer already but it’s still very early to know what’s going to happen next.
“I still have a lot to offer in terms of experience and ability so I am looking forward to a new chapter in my career which will hopefully be successful.”