MICHAEL Timlin is already looking forward to the next chapter of his career.

The hard-working midfielder has made more than 400 appearances since making his debut as a youngster with Fulham.

But the 33-year-old is now excited to see what will come next.

“For me going forward now it’s a new chapter and I’m excited to see what happens,” said Timlin.

“Since I’ve left Fulham I’ve only been contracted to two clubs so that shows how committed I am.

“I want to go to a club with purpose rather than just going somewhere for the sake of playing.

“I think everyone should always be fighting for a place in the team and I always did that at Southend.

“The way I trained and played I was always confident of getting back in when I was left out and more often than not that would happen.

“So me leaving Southend is certainly not down to having to fight for a place because I’ve always done that and I would continue to back myself to do so.

“But it’s time for something new now.”

Timlin’s delayed departure has given other players a headstart in finding a new club.

But the midfielder is hopeful he will soon be snapped up after sides showed an interest at the start of the summer.

“Teams have showed interest but my agent, Dean Baker, didn’t really talk to me about it because he knew how I felt about Southend,” said Timlin.

“I thought I would sign a new deal when I came back from holiday and I wasn’t really thinking about anything else.

“But now what’s happened has been made public I’ll have to see what options I’ll hopefully have.

“You can’t expect clubs to be interested but I would like to think teams will be keen to sign me.”

But Timlin would ideally like to remain in League One and face the Shrimpers next season.

“Ideally I would like to stay in League One and come back to play Southend to say my goodbyes properly,” said Timlin.

“But I’m not scared to drop down into League Two.

“I want to play for something and for a club going somewhere rather than just playing week in week out for the sake of me playing because I’ve never been about that.”

And Timlin - who forged a close relationship with Blues’ youth department while at Roots Hall - hopes an up and coming youngster will take his place in the team.

“Ricky Duncan, Kev Maher and Dave Huzzey all do a fantastic job and I’ll miss that side of things because I always went out of my way to know the names of all the youth team players,” said Timlin.

“I was the only first team player who knew everyone in the youth team and I had a real connection with them.

“No-one asked me to do it but I would like to think my time at Southend has been good with the youngsters and I hope to see more coming through. Dru (Yearwood) has been fantastic and he was one of the youngsters I got to know. He’s had a remarkable progression but there are so many good young players there. I’m hoping Harry Phillips will be next to come through.”