Hasney Aljofree is an experienced defender whose most successful spells came at Plymouth Argyle and Swindon Town. The 32-year-old began his career as a youngster at Manchester United before moving to Bolton Wanderers, where he earned his first professional contract in 1997. Since then he has played under manager Paul Sturrock at four separate clubs, and spent five years at Plymouth between 2002 and 2007, helping them to the Division Two title in 2004. He returned to Oldham Athletic last season but only made one appearance for the club before being released.
Is it worrying being an out of contract player in the current climate or is that now part and parcel of a footballer's career?
It's a bit of both really. It's worrying with the financial markets, the implications for footballers, it's like losing you're job. You've lost your pay packet to pay the bills. But I think if you think of it like that it gets you down. So I've just been persevering, going to the gym, keeping myself ticking over until I get that call, which hopefully I'll get soon.
Is it something that needs to be addressed in the modern game, as more and more players are now out of contract?
It is worrying. I think the PFA are trying to help, they've been good to me. Basically once you come to the end of your contract a lot of players think 'what do I do next?' But in the current climate I think the PFA are trying to help people in terms of thinking about the future and their active in terms of trying to put you in touch with universities or maybe trying to get you a trade. I've been lucky, I've been kept informed of different things that are going on. Each to their own, you can't just be blind and think football is all you're going to do. It's the first time I've been out of contract and it has been quite hard trying to get a club that's going to be suited to me.
How do you approach the summer, is it just a case of sitting tight?
Personally I've lived away (from home) for the majority of my career, for the last 12 years I think I have been away. So I've told my agent I want to stay back home now and I've limited myself to a radius around Manchester and Greater Manchester. I've enjoyed my football and my career but now my family life is a little more important in terms of I can't be away from my child and things like that. For me I just hope my agent can come up with a club from around Manchester.
Do you have any idea as to the standard you are aiming at and what level you would like to play?
I've never played any less than League One but I'm 32, I'm realistic, and I'll broaden my horizons. Beggars can't be choosers at the end of the day. If it comes to it and it's League Two or Conference, as long as I'm back in the game and enjoying it then that's what I'll have to do.
Would you be willing to relocate? Do you have to accept that you need to move where the contracts are?
At the end of the day if I got offered a deal elsewhere I'd have to have a proper sit down with my family and maybe work out what's best. I love football but after being away for so long and finally getting back to Manchester, it'd be a big decision for me. I love football and it has been my life but the moving around and the upheaval, I've had enough of that really. We'll see.
Would you be prepared to go on trial to secure a new contract?
I guess so, yeah. I've never done it before but at the end of the day I think you've got to be open to offers and options. For me personally I've been out of the game for a long time, I had a bit of a serious knee injury at Swindon but I managed to get myself fit and I signed for Oldham Athletic last season. For me, clubs need to know that I'm fit and they may want to see me for a couple of games just to prove I am fit. I wouldn't turn it down.
What do you feel you would offer prospective employers? What do you feel are your best attributes?
I think I've got great experience. I've played under some great managers, I've played a lot of games in the Football League, I've been captain of Plymouth Argyle and Swindon Town and also Oldham reserves. I'm a bit of a leader; if anyone wants to ring up a previous manager I'm sure I'll get a good reference. I've got good leadership qualities and I help the youngsters through.
Still early days in terms of teams getting their plans sorted, are you confident you will get something sorted?
I'm not sure. I thought maybe it might have been sorted before July if I'm honest with you. But there are a lot of players in my shoes. I'm surprised it's July and I've still not heard anything concrete. That's life, it's not overly worrying but you want to get a pre-season in with a club, get some kind of base fitness and know your players. But I've been around the game long enough to realise sometimes it's not so straightforward.
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