Free agent Whaley seeks fresh start
A former Canaries player has spoken of the anguish of fighting for a living on football's scrap-heap. Simon Whaley joined City for �250,000 a little over a year ago, but after falling out of favour when manager Paul Lambert arrived his career has gone rapidly downhill.
A former Canaries player has spoken of the anguish of fighting for a living on football's scrap-heap.
Simon Whaley joined City for �250,000 a little over a year ago, but after falling out of favour when manager Paul Lambert arrived his career has gone rapidly downhill.
After loans spells at Rochdale and Bradford, he joined Chesterfield on a short-term deal, but after surgery on a knee problem, ended the season without a club.
Now Whaley - only 25 years old - is desperate for a chance to prove himself and safeguard his family's future.
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“Being a free agent has come as a massive shock but it just proves how much your situation can change,” said Whaley. “Towards the end of last season my head was all over the place.
“I am not just doing it for myself anymore. I have an 11-month old boy Theo and I am doing it for him as well. I want to be given a chance to knuckle down and enjoy some success.”
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Whaley came to Carrow Road as a pacey winger with a venomous shot, but he became a victim of the changes that were made following Gunn's departure, playing just two cup games under Lambert before his contract was terminated in January.
But the former Preston player is hopeful that the knee injury is behind him.
“Word about the knee issue gets around and it kind of hangs over you,” said Whaley, in an interview with the BBC. “I need a club willing to take me on my previous record and so any deal would probably be a pay-as-you-play deal.”
The anxiety of not knowing what's around the corner manifested itself in the summer, when Whaley had a trial with League Two Bury, despite being unfit.
“I did two weeks of full-blown pre-season training and played 90 minutes of a friendly match,” he said. “I should not have gone to Bury but it is hard - when you are trying to get a contract you will do anything.”