LUKE O’Neill has sealed a switch to Gillingham following his release from Southend United.

O’Neill - who can play at both right-back or the right hand side of midfield - made 37 appearances during his two seasons with the Shrimpers.

But he now hopes to be able to feature more regularly for the Gills.

“I’m pleased to have sorted the move to Gillingham and hopefully I’ll be able to get more games there because that’s what I want and need,” said O’Neill.

“It’s a good move for me location wise and after meeting the manager Ady Pennock and Peter Taylor I knew it was where I wanted to go so I’m really looking forward to it.

“I enjoyed my time at Southend and made some great friends who I’ll always be close with.

“But I never got to play as much as I would’ve liked and that was disappointing.”

O’Neill - who played once on loan for Blues in 2014 - returned to Roots Hall on a permanent basis in 2015 and originally expected to feature far more regularly.

“At the time I had a few clubs interested in me but Phil Brown was adamant about me coming to Southend and I thought I would be getting games,” said O’Neill.

“It never really turned out that way and it was a weird one really because I had a club come in for me in January but the manager said he wanted me to stay and be a part of the squad.

“He knew I was disappointed not to be playing more but he didn’t want me to leave and at that time he said there was going to be a new contract offered to me.

“That never happened but even if it had I don’t think I would have signed if I’m honest because I need to be playing games.

“Being at Southend has been a good experience for me though and the fans were always really good to me as well.

“I wish them all the very best for the future but it’s time for a new challenge and I’m looking forward to pre-season training and the season ahead with Gillingham now.”

O’Neill made 21 appearances for the Shrimpers last season.

The 25-year-old, who joined from Burnley, also started the 1-0 win against Bury on the final day of last season having been out of the side since December.