EASTLEIGH’S promotion-winning skipper Glen Southam has been released from his contract with immediate effect.

The popular 33-year-old midfielder tweeted that he was “absolutely gutted” to be leaving the club he led to the Skrill Conference South title last season.

A club statement said that Eastleigh were “extremely disappointed” to be losing Southam, adding: “Glen has been an inspirational skipper and a major factor in our promotion to the Conference Premier.

“He has conducted himself on and off the field in an exemplary manner and is rightly very highly regarded by everyone at the club.

“Unfortunately personal circumstance has dictated that Glen needs to find another club potentially, but we are hopeful that will be with another Conference Premier team so the fans will get a chance to see him in action at the Silverlake again this season and show their full appreciation.”

Southam was named man-of-the-match on the magical afternoon in mid-April when Eastleigh were crowned champions after a 2-1 win against Basingstoke Town.

Signed from Dover Athletic two summers ago by former Spitfires boss Ian Baird, Southam blossomed under Baird’s successor Richard Hill after being handed the captain’s armband.

He made such an impression during the 2012/13 campaign that he was awarded both the club’s player-of-the-year prizes and was named in the Conference South’s team-of-the-year.

Chairman Stewart Donald commented: “I am very close to Glen, who has become not just the club’s captain but also a good friend.

“He leaves the club with my best wishes for the future and thanks for everything he has contributed.

“He has played a huge part in our recent success and I will always be extremely grateful for the way he led by example and set the right standards.

“He gave everything when he put on the Eastleigh jersey and was determined to deliver the title last year for us.

“I’m glad we managed that achievement whilst Glen was at the club.”