MICHAEL Brothers has a "new lease of life" after reigniting his playing career by signing for Maldon and Tiptree.

The striker had been operating in a dual role at previous club Brantham Athletic, playing but also joint-manager alongside Matt Carmichael.

The pair guided the Imps to a fifth-place finish in the premier division last season and put the cherry on the cake by winning the League Cup silverware.

It was the club's first major cup silverware since 1984.

However, Brothers decided to move on in order to concentrate solely on playing and subsequently announced he is joining Maldon.

"I'm really excited," said the 33-year-old.

"The set-up is great there, because of the link with Colchester United.

"(Manager) Wayne Brown is an ex-professional and (assistant boss) Paul Abrahams is someone else who's been there and done it. He and I know each other from our time together at Wivenhoe Town.

"This is something I really want to do and it's the right thing for me now.

"To be honest, it's something I've been thinking about since the summer.

"After the success we had last season, I decided to have another year at Brantham.

"But after playing on a regular basis in recent weeks, it's made me realise I still have a lot to offer.

"I feel as though my performances were affected by the fact I had to wear a manager's hat.

"And vice-versa, my managerial duties probably suffered because I tried to focus on playing.

"It feels like it needs to be one or the other.

"I like to do things to the best of my ability and feel I've got many years of being a manager to come.

"But the clock is ticking in terms of my playing career and this move has given me a new lease of life."

Former Brightlingsea Regent, Needham Market and Leiston striker Brothers and ex-Harwich and Parkeston boss Carmichael took the reins at Brantham in January 2017.

The pair enjoyed great success but last game in charge together was last Friday's 3-1 defeat at home to Woodbridge Town.

Brothers leaves with the Imps sitting eighth in the table heading into a run of three straight away games, starting with Saturday's trip to Ely City.

"I hope these last 18 to 20 months of management have improved me as a player," added Brothers.

"It's all positive, although I'm gutted to be leaving Matty and Brantham.

"When we started together I was at a point in my life when it was the right thing to do.

"Now this is the right thing and it's exciting to be back at step four level, having previously enjoyed promotion from this division with Needham and Leiston.

"The higher I play, the more you're going to get out of me and I can't wait to get started.

"If I knuckle down and look after myself, there's no reason why I can't play for a few more years yet."