FORMER Swindon Town and Bristol Rovers centre-back Tom Broadbent expresses that he’s “really excited” to get underway with new club Eastleigh.

The 29-year-old ex-Army man – who served for six years before starting life as a non-league footballer – has joined the Hampshire side following relegation with now-League Two Swindon last season.

The 6ft 3in left-footed defender has racked up 58 Football League appearances during a career that started with Farnborough, and he even represented the Army team too.

He told the club website: “It feels good, I’m really excited. When I found out there was interest and spoke to the gaffer the interest was there from me as well.

“Strevs (Ben Strevens) actually rang me himself after the England game, I was like ‘who is this ringing me?’

“But he’s a good guy and it’s really important that you get on with the gaffer.

“The club is a good feel, it’s a family club, nice close-knit group so it’s really good.”

Born in Basingstoke, Broadbent also spent time in the youth academies of Saints, Cherries and Portsmouth.

The Spitfires have seen the departure of three first-team defenders in vice-captain Joe Partington, Pierce Bird and club-legend Michael Green this summer – with manager Strevens pleased to get another body in.

Strevens hailed Broadbent’s character, telling the Daily Echo: “To have done what he’s done in his life, he’s a bigger man than me. Doing anything like that (the Army) would scare me.

“He fits the bill of the sort of character we want, but at 29-years-old the drive has to still be there.

“He’s certainly not an old player by any means, but when you take someone in from the Football League the hunger has to be there to get back.

“We’re going to give him the platform to be a regular and play left-sided centre-half, giving him the confidence to show just how good he can be.”