Free Agent - Casper Ankergren
The first free agent to fall under our microscope is former Leeds goalkeeper Casper Ankergren.
Last Updated: 28/06/10 11:01am
Casper Ankergren is an experienced Danish goalkeeper who most recently spent three years with Leeds United. Following their promotion to the Championship his contract was not renewed, and the 30-year-old stopper is now on the hunt for a new club. A former Denmark Under-21 international, Ankergren cut his teeth at Koge BK before moving to Brondby, where he spent six years. Renowned for his shot-stopping ability, Ankergren won both the Danish top-flight and Danish Cup twice during his time at Brondby, and last season played an important part in Leeds' promotion campaign, as well as impressing in their FA Cup run.
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 different situation, I've never been in this situation before so it's a bit strange. You get a bit worried but I think I've done enough. I've proved myself often and showed what I can do with the amount of games I played for Leeds. So hopefully it will be enough to get me a contract somewhere else.
Was promotion tinged with disappointment as you perhaps thought you would not be getting a new contract?
No not really. I thought my best option to get a new contract was if we got promoted, but obviously not. It was all about the team and I didn't make too much trouble when he (Leeds manager, Simon Grayson) took me out of the team with eight games left - it was all about the team, all about Leeds getting promoted, not about me. I was disappointed, I was angry with the manager because I thought it was unfair what he was doing to me but some situations you just have to work hard and try and do better in training.
Is it something that needs to be addressed in the modern game, as more and more players are now out of contract?
It's a bit crazy isn't it? If you look in Denmark where I'm from there's not a lot of players out of contract. In England it's a different world because England is such a big country and is such a crazy football country. That's just the way it is - everyone can't be a professional footballer and play for Manchester United or Liverpool. I looked at all the players that are out of contract and I've seen them all - somebody has to play in the conference league, somebody has to play in the lower divisions and somebody has to go to normal work. That's just the way it is.
How do you approach the summer, is it just a case of sitting tight?
I've already had a few offers but it wasn't the right offer for me and my family. You can say maybe it's stupid that I didn't accept the offers but I didn't feel it was the right thing and I turned them down. Maybe it's a bit of a gamble, you win some you lose some, we'll just have to wait and see whether it was wise or not.
Do you have any idea as to the standard you are aiming at and what level you would like to play?
My goal has always been when I came to England to play in the Championship, so that's my aim, that's my goal.
Would you be willing to relocate? Do you have to accept that you need to move where the contracts are?
It's not just about the money, it's about what's right for the family as well. If you have to move you have to move. We've already taken a big step moving from Denmark to England. It's been a pleasure to live in Leeds, but if I have to go somewhere else we will do that. There's been some interest from Denmark but we haven't said that we have to go back or we have to stay in England. I'd love to stay in England because I think that's where the best football is. The passion people have for football here, it's different to Denmark.
Still early days in terms of teams getting their plans sorted, are you confident you will get something sorted?
Well I hope so. Otherwise I have to go down to the job centre and apply for something else. I'm confident. I think I'll find a club, I'm not that worried. But honestly, it's tough times and I'll just have to take it as it comes and hope for the best. I have to hope that what I've done so far will be enough.
What do you feel you would offer prospective employers? What do you feel are your best attributes?
I work extremely hard in training every day and I always want to get better and improve. I think that's what I've always done, that's how I was raised in Denmark. That's the way we did it at Brondby, we always worked very hard in the training ground and that's how I did things at Leeds as well. That's one of my more positive sides - I love football, I have a big passion for it and even though it's just training I hate losing. I've got a very strong winning mentality.
To see the full list of players currently available as free agents, provided by the PFA, click here.
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