I returned to the UK on January 9th in search of my first club in England since 2008. Playing abroad was an experience and a half for many reasons both good and bad, but I have a burning desire to play back in my homeland.
My first port of call was to train with my old club Spurs. This was purely to stay in good shape ahead of trials that were being lined up. I am so grateful to the club and the coaches for giving me this opportunity. It has been great to get some good training under my belt.
Fast forward a few weeks from my first day at the club and I have been in contact with a few clubs from Brighton, managed by my former team mate Gus Poyet, to Pompey. While there has been interest, some clubs haven’t been able to do a concrete deal due to finances, size of squads or type of existing players. It’s been frustrating as I have been training hard and well at Spurs but this doesn’t guarantee a contract anywhere.
The latest interest came out of the blue from a League 2 club. I found out the night before and I went down to Cobham, Chelsea’s training ground, to play a game against their reserves. This game went reasonably well and the gaffer asked me to come in to train with the squad. I grabbed the opportunity and joined in a good few training sessions with the boys. I applied and expressed myself to give me the best possible chance of being offered a deal. I felt comfortable amongst the boys. In particular one of my old Arsenal team mates from over 10 years ago.
Unfortunately despite impressing the gaffer, I was gutted to find out that he could not offer me a deal right away. The current squad doesn’t leave enough budget for new signings unless a couple of existing players were to move on. Gutted is an understatement of the feeling when he broke the news to me. He seems like a real good guy who is working hard to try and turn his team’s form around. I hope that in the next week or so a deal can be reached so I can get down there and help the club push for a play off place.
In the meantime I will continue to train with Spurs staying fit and sharp for any other opportunities as they arise. The market means that teams are more cautious of handing out deals before having a THOROUGH look at you. I suppose they have the power to do so and they are exercising it.
Anyway, as the search to find a new club continues, I remain as determined, focused and hungry as I was when I arrived at Spurs in Jan.