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Greg Halford: Ex-Sunderland defender willing to play for free to relaunch career

Former Sunderland defensive prospect Greg Halford has offered to play for free in a desperate bid to reignite his career 16-months on from leaving Aberdeen.

What’s the word?

Taking to LinkedIn, Halford has issued a come-and-get-me plea for potential suitors to come and bring him in from the cold, having been without a club since being released by Aberdeen in 2019.

The “motivated” 35-year-old claims to have been training every day since a failed trial for an unnamed side this summer, stating: “I’m fit and ready to go.”

Did SAFC sell Halford too early?

Yes, he was sold too soon

Yes, he was sold too soon

No, he wasn't good enough

No, he wasn't good enough

Halford spent two years on Wearside between 2007 and 2009 after being signed for a reported £4.68million, but managed just nine appearances before leaving Sunderland for Wolverhampton Wanderers after loan spells with Charlton Athletic and Sheffield United.

He went on to enjoy a career boasting almost 500 appearances, including 28 games in the Premier League, and believes his motivation for the game is currently as high as ever before.

“If there [are] any clubs out there looking for an experienced and motivated player with over 500 league appearances, I’m willing to play for free up to January,” he wrote. “I’ve had a pre-season with a club and trained every day since and still training now, so I’m fit and ready to go into a team.

“My hunger is as strong as ever and willing to do anything to get my career up and running again.”

Much like his time with Sunderland, Halford struggled to establish himself with Aberdeen, for whom he managed just two outings while often resigned to the bench during a five-month spell at the club.

“All the ability in the world”

Halford must be applauded for his determination to kick-start his career at 35 after 16-months out of the game and having played just twice in the past two-and-a-half years, but it remains to be seen at what level he is afforded the opportunity to lace his boots once more.

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Sunderland fans certainly never saw the best of Halford during his time in the North East, where he cost the Black Cats a whopping £520,000 a game after arriving in a costly deal with Reading as an up-and-coming 22-year-old hopeful.

The Stadium of Light natives were at least able to recoup half of the money paid to Reading when they eventually sold Halford to Wolves in 2009 for £2.16m, though it was not until the right-back joined Portsmouth on loan that he established himself as a first-team regular.

After signing on the dotted line in October 2010, Halford went on to record 33 appearances during Pompey’s first season in the Championship after Premier League relegation, scoring five goals and offering three assists.

His efforts impressed enough for the Fratton Park natives to buy Halford the following summer, securing then-manager Steve Cotterill a defender he valued highly.

“He has got all the ability in the world, but he is only a young lad who just needs to play football,” Cotterill said, via quotes by the Daily Mail.

That talent would go on to feature for the likes of Nottingham Forest, Brighton & Hove Albion, Birmingham City, Rotherham and Cardiff before his ill-fated spell with Aberdeen. The question now is, will anyone take a punt on Halford?

AND in other news, Stewart Donald can deliver Sunderland a parting gift by keeping an exciting teen prospect courted by Premier League sides.

Article title: Greg Halford: Ex-Sunderland defender willing to play for free to relaunch career

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