Mulryne: I'm not going to waste my chance
CHRIS LAKEY Phil Mulryne has spoken of his footballing heartache - and the debt of gratitude he owes Canaries boss Peter Grant for helping him get his career back on track.
Phil Mulryne has spoken of his footballing heartache - and the debt of gratitude he owes Canaries boss Peter Grant for helping him get his career back on track.
The ex-City midfielder has been given Grant's blessing to use the club's facilities at their Colney training centre while he looks for a new club - and a fresh start to a career which has gone off the rails since he left Carrow Road two years ago.
The 29-year-old has started just two games - one for Cardiff and one for Leyton Orient - since then, but insists he has plenty of football left in him.
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“It has been unbelievable,” he said. “It's been a hard time to be honest, going from playing here and doing really well and then picking up a few bad injuries. Not having a good year at Cardiff set me back. It does make you appreciate what you have. If I get the second chance obviously I am not going to waste it.
“I have only just turned 29 and I have a lot to offer and hopefully I can get back playing regularly. That is all I need - to get the sharpness back and get playing regularly, so I am really looking forward to getting something sorted.”
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Mulryne quickly fell out of favour at Cardiff and saw his international career with Northern Ireland ended when he and team-mate Jeff Whitley were thrown out of the squad by manager Lawrie Sanchez for a breach of discipline.
He left Cardiff a year ago and after trials with Ipswich, Brighton and Barnsley signed a short-term contract with Leyton Orient in January, only to be released at the end of the season. Trials with Bournemouth and St Mirren came to nothing - but Mulryne says he has learnt his lesson.
“It takes a bit of time - I had it when I broke my leg,” he said. “It takes you a little step back to appreciate what kind of life you have. It has been a horrible year for me personally, because I haven't been settled and moving around the country with different clubs and that. I am really in the frame of mind now that I am so hungry to get back because I know I can still do it.”
Mulryne appeared to be close to signing with former City men Kevin Bond and Rob Newman at Bournemouth, but couldn't agree a deal.
“They offered me a month-to-month, but I need to get playing regular and it wasn't really something concrete,” he explained. “I had a little hamstring injury and just got back from that a few weeks ago, so I spoke to Granty and said would it be ok if I came up for training to keep fit.
“I've been training by myself, which is not the same, and he's been great. He said to just come in and use the facility, so I keep ticking over to get fit.”
Although Grant has two midfielders - Jimmy Smith and Mark Fotheringham - out of action with injuries, Mulryne says he is not about to join Darel Russel and Jamie Cureton in returning to Carrow Road.
“No, not at all,” he said. “The club didn't approach me, I just rang Peter. There is nothing else in it whatsoever, that is not even on the cards. I am just trying to get my career back on track and hopefully my agent will get something sorted in the next few weeks for me.
“I have fond memories, great memories, from here. But obviously that is gone now. I am glad Peter has let me come in and train. I can't get too attached or anything, I am just going to come in and train and hopefully it will hold me in good stead to get something sorted, but I really appreciate it for the club letting me come in.”
It's now a case of “have boots, will travel” for Mulryne.
“I am based in Cardiff, but it's is football, and if I get something sorted wherever it is I will have to go because I am in a position now where I need to be playing again, it doesn't really matter where it is, so I just want to get playing again.
“We're speaking to a few at the minute, but the longer it goes on the harder it is obviously for players who are out of contract because the teams have all got their squads sorted. So you are just waiting on a few people getting injures.
“I am waiting on a few phone calls so hopefully I can do the training here and I'll be a lot sharper going into it.”