At this stage of my career I knew what might be coming but I was still not prepared for the feeling of being no longer required
“You’ve been great for us but we’re not prepared to renew your contract for next season.” The words I think every player fears and dreads, so when I heard them from my (now former) manager, Chris Hughton, I felt a whole range of emotions. I’m at the stage in my career that I knew what might be coming but at the same time you can never prepare for it. I’ve been released and just like every player who has experienced the scenario there is no way to ready yourself.
Disappointment is immediate along with the relief of at least knowing the decision. Then you question yourself and you feel failure, worry, fear and anxiety that any person in any line of work would feel when losing their job. I appreciate how privileged I am to do a job I love and get well paid, and I understand people who say flippantly it’s OK for the likes of me who have had a long career and all the benefits that come with that. But the sheer emotion of having to break the news to my wife and children who are happy in the area and at their school and having to come to terms with the fact my chances of playing at the very top level again are extremely slim makes everything daunting, painful and testing.