FORMER Southend United winger Jermaine McGlashan is relishing a new lease of life in Cyprus – despite not being able to wind down!

The ex Shrimpers winger joined Second Division side Akritas Chlorakas earlier this summer.

And the 32-year-old is enjoying his first taste of playing abroad.

“I thought I would start winding down coming out here but I’ve actually had to step it up and it’s a good level,” said McGlashan.

“The culture is different in terms of the football and the language barrier has been tough at times but the lifestyle is good and so is getting to know the boys.

“I’m enjoying it though. It still feels like a bit of a holiday at the moment but it’s hard work on the training ground and on the pitch as well.

“It’s been tough but I do feel like I’m starting to settle now.”

McGlashan made close to 400 appearances in the English game and finished last season lining up for Ebbsfleet United.

But the winger had always thought about playing abroad.

“It was probably on a long trip back from somewhere like Morecambe on a Tuesday night I would think about it but during lockdown I looked into more,” said McGlashan.

“I spoke to Jason Puncheon who plays for Pafos out here and I just felt it was the right time to go.

“After being stuck indoors all the time in lockdown my missus probably couldn’t wait for me to go away either and it’s ticked all the boxes.”

But, despite the switch, McGlashan still keeps tabs on the score-lines closer to home.

And, having enjoyed his spell with the Shrimpers, he is sad to see them struggling.

“I hope they can start getting it together because it’s hard to read all the updates at times,” said McGlashan who made 70 appearances in a two year spell at Blues which ended in 2018.

“When I was at Southend it was probably the best squad I was ever part of on paper. We had a good chance of getting in the play-offs and I enjoyed it there.

“I still talk to a few of the boys and I can keep a close eye on what’s happening. I’m confident things will turn around and It’s good to see some of the young lads coming through, particularly Terrell (Egbri) who I used to call mini Glash!

“He’s playing all the time so he must be doing well and that’s great.”

But, for once, McGlashan will not mind if the Shrimpers fail to win this weekend as they face another of his former teams, Cheltenham, at Roots Hall.

“I’ll take a draw in this game on Saturday because both clubs are somewhere I’ve been and are still close to my heart,” said McGlashan.

“We play our game a couple of hours before so when we come back I’ll be looking at the score and it’s going to be an interesting game.

“Southend probably need the points more but I really do wish them both well.”