Nicky Weaver is an experienced goalkeeper who is most noted for the decade he spent on the books of Manchester City. During that time he helped the club fight their way back into the Premier League, and earned 10 England U21 caps. Since then he has continued to turn out at a competitive level, with a spell taken in at SPL outfit Dundee United during the first half of last season. Still only 31, Weaver would be a shrewd acquisition for any side concerned about their lack of depth in the keeping department.
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 is a little bit worrying, but I'm not on my own and there are a lot of other players in the same situation. You just have to be patient, keep yourself in good shape and wait for the right opportunity to arrive. Especially for a goalkeeper, once a few start moving around it will be a bit of a domino effect. Hopefully it might open the door to a few opportunities for me.
There are more and more players dropping into the free agent market every year, is that an issue the authorities need to address?
I think it's just the way football is going. Obviously the clubs are back into pre-season and are assessing their squads. I have spoken to lads at other clubs and they are saying 'we need to sign four or five players', so there's going to be a lot of opportunities arise within the next three or four weeks. The Championship season is a few weeks away, so you tend to find that during the build-up to the season that things start to heat up. Obviously games have started for the clubs now as well, so injuries will creep in. It's just a case, for me personally, of sitting tight and being patient and then suddenly a call will come and you will be off somewhere.
Was that your mindset heading into the summer, just looking to sit tight?
It's weird. I got an offer from a club a while back, a few months ago. I was thinking this offer has come a little bit too early, I don't want something this early because you want to bring all your offers together. I was in a similar situation last year and there are hundreds of players in the same situation, it's just whether there are opportunities arising. If there are, I will be ready to go and play for someone.
Due to the strict financial constraints placed on Football League managers, do you feel more are leaving it later and later before conducting their transfer business?
You don't see much activity during the off-season because clubs don't want to pay people through the summer, I suppose. Managers do keep their cards close to their chest in that sense. There have been a few managers move around as well, and there are still a few up for grabs so there will be other managers going into clubs, and they want different players. Like I said, you have to be patient and be prepared to wait. In the meantime you have to keep yourself in good shape. I am training now as if I have got a job. I go to the gym every morning, fitness sessions, and I'm doing a bit of work in the afternoons with the Charlton goalkeeping coach, so that's helped me out. I feel in good shape, so when the call comes it's not like I will have three or four weeks to catch up with everybody else, I will be up to speed.
Do you have any idea as to the standard you are aiming at and what level you would like to play?
I just want to go and play football. I'm not going to rule anything in and I'm not going to rule anything out. Last year, if you had asked me then, I never thought I would have gone and played for Dundee United, but I did. I thoroughly enjoyed that, going and having five months up there, and I came out of that contract and signed for Burnley who were in the Premier League. I didn't play for Burnley, which was disappointing, but funny things happen in football. If the right offer comes along and it's something that I fancy and I feel is good for my career, I will look at it. Although I'm 31 I still feel I have a lot to offer and I want to play for another six or seven years at least. I am just waiting for the right opportunity. I'm not going to set myself a target of what division I want to play in, if the right opportunity comes along I will grab it with both hands.
Would you be willing to relocate? Do you have to accept that you need to move where the contracts are?
I have got a new-born baby as well, so I have had a lot going on in my life away from football, so that has to be taken into consideration as well. But I am willing to move wherever the deal comes up. I will move anywhere, that's not an issue at all.
Would you be prepared to go somewhere on trial before earning a full-time contract?
Yeah. I think I am at an age now where most people will know what I'm about, but if someone wants to have a look at me for a few days, that's fine. But I don't want to be doing a tour of the training grounds for the rest of pre-season. I am 31 now and have played quite a lot of game, so I would like to think that if someone wanted me they would know what I'm about. But it's not something I would have a problem with.
Do you feel that experience is the best attribute you have to offer prospective employers?
I suppose so. I feel I am relatively experienced. Like I said, I am 31 now so I have been around for a few years, and hopefully I will be around for a few years more. It all depends on the kind of club. I just need a manager who needs a relatively experienced keeper, whose available now. The free transfer does help in a way, because everyone's tight for money this year. It's just being patient. There are still a few weeks until the Football League season starts, so hopefully something will pop up before then.
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