FORMER Southend United defender Ryan Cresswell is determined to work his way back into the Football League.

The centre-back, who has also lined up for tomorrow’s visitors to Roots Hall Rotherham United, is currently part of Glenn Tamplin’s Romford revolution But, after battling against alcohol addiction, Cresswell now feels back on track and is still hungry to play higher.

“I still believe I can play at that level again and I don’t doubt myself at all,” said Cresswell.

“I had a rough year-and-a-half a year-and-a-half ago and it’s about catching up. But there’s never a day I don’t think about playing higher and never say never.

“I’ve spoken to plenty of people about going in for training and joining in but it’s got to be right for me and my family.

“I have a four-year-old daughter now so my priorities have changed. I need to be home more so part-time works.

“Do I want to be travelling full-time three or four hours away? Not really. I need to be close to home but I’m 31 and I’m nowhere near the end.”

Cresswell impressed during the 2012/13 season with the Shrimpers, scoring eight goals in 54 games. But the defender opted to leave at the end of the season and spent time with Fleetwood and Northampton Town before dropping into non-league with Eastleigh.

However, it was with the Hampshire club that Cresswell hit rock bottom.

“I was turning up at training for Eastleigh half cut,” said Cresswell.

“I wasn’t really sleeping. I would turn up hanging and finishing training wondering what I had been doing. It was just a mess and I was getting injury after injury and then I thought about how much I had been drinking. The injuries just weren’t a coincidence and I was hiding the feelings from the injuries by drinking. I was drinking to hide my feelings but I looked it up earlier and it’s one year and four months tomorrow.”

Cresswell is now enjoying the enthusiasm shown by the eccentric Tamplin but the defender will be eagerly anticipating the final scoreline from Roots Hall tomorrow.

“I’m a Miller and I’ve got family going to the game this weekend,” said Cresswell.

“I’ve told my niece to get a programme as there might be a played for both section!

“I’ll be reading that on Sunday and I’ll be checking my phone and the radio straight after our game.

“Rotherham are my team so I want them to win, sorry! But after that I want Southend to go on a run and stay up.”

>The full interview can be heard on the ‘Have I Got Blues for You’ podcast next week.