MICHAEL Timlin insists his unexpected departure from Southend United will not diminish his love for the Shrimpers.

The 33-year-old midfielder has unexpectedly left Roots Hall after Blues had initially announced he would be offered a new deal.

But, despite being hurt by the situation, Timlin will still hold the club close to his heart.

“It’s been fantastic and I’ve felt this has become my club now,” said Timlin.

“Everyone knows Millwall was a club I grew up supporting and everyone knew I wish I could have played for them because they were my local team.

“But the longer I’ve been at Southend the more I’ve felt this has become my team now.

“It’s been amazing and I’m so sad to be sat here now saying it’s coming to an end.

“I had plans in my head and I’ve moved my family down to the area.

“We love living in Leigh and like I said to the chairman when I last signed a contract I wanted to be here long term.

“I wanted to work towards a testimonial and then become a coach when I finished playing.

“I really wanted to be a part of things going forward but that’s not going to happen now.

“This is football and this is what can happen because things change.

“But my time hasn’t finished on a negative because everything up until this point has been positive in my eyes.”

Timlin joined Blues initially on loan in 2011 and went on to make 262 appearances for the club during an incredibly eventful spell.

The committed midfielder was compared to ‘RoboCop’ by former Shrimpers boss Phil Brown due to his ability to bounce back from serious injury setbacks.

And Timlin felt back to his best following the appointment of Chris Powell in late January.

“Since Chris Powell has come in I felt I’ve been playing better,” said Timlin.

“I felt like I was back to playing like I was when I first came here on loan under Paul Sturrock.

“I was doing a bit more in midfield than just running around like a headless chicken.

“I felt rejuvenated and that’s why I’m hurt and frustrated it’s come to this.”

Timlin was told contract talks would begin with the club once he got back from holiday.

But, once he returned to the country, the midfielder discovered a new deal was not on the table and he would not be given the chance to discuss terms.

“The gaffer has told me his reasons but it happened just all of a sudden,” said Timlin.

“When we met at the end of the season we had a great chat and he wanted to keep me.

“He wanted me to progress under him because of how I had been playing and how I spoke to the players as well.

“When I went away on holiday I understood we would be negotiating when we got back but something has happened and circumstances have changed.

“Without giving away too much detail because I think things like this should always stay in-house he’s having to change the team and the squad.

“He explained he wanted me to be a part of things but he has to work towards a budget and he has to work towards getting his own players in.”

However, Timlin is unable to wait to find out if Blues will be in a position to offer him a deal later in the summer.

“I have to do right by my family,” said the midfielder.

“I can’t hold out and expect the manager to do something for me when he has to do something for his own plans moving forwards.”

Timlin is therefore on the look-out for a new club.

But his departure led to endless tributes from the Shrimpers supporters, something Timlin was delighted to hear.

“I probably didn’t please a lot of fans but I knew there were fans who appreciated me and liked what I did for the team but that’s part and parcel of football,” said Timlin.

“You can’t please everyone but it’s fantastic to hear people are saying great things.

“You want to be remembered for commitment by the people who are spending their money to go home and away.

“We always took fantastic fans to away games in particular and I always told the boys to go over to the fans before kick off to get everyone going and to let them know we appreciate them.

“I haven’t had the opportunity to say goodbye to the fans but they know how I used to act and they know I appreciated all of their support, especially when I was injured.

“I would like to say thank you to them all but I’ll definitely be back to watch when I can because I’ll still be living in the area.

“I just don’t want to be remembered for someone who only ran around.

“I do have a lot of ability, you just don’t see it a lot of the time!”

Timlin will now be aiming to show that again elsewhere.

But he will not be dwelling on how his spell with the Shrimpers ended and will instead look back at the more memorable moments he enjoyed while with the club.

“Things happen in football both good and bad and you just have to take the positives and do the best you can at all times,” said Timlin. “Being honest I’m in a state of disappointment right now and I’m frustrated it’s come to this.

“But I won’t dwell on the negatives.

“I hope Southend do well and achieve everything they want to.

“I’ll certainly keep an eye on things and I’ll still feel it’s my club.

“It’s going to be weird living here and playing elsewhere but it is what it is and I have to get on with it.

“I have good friends at the club and I want them to achieve.

“And when it comes to looking back at my own time playing for Southend I’ll just focus on all of the amazing moments rather than how it all ended.”