Free Agent - Jon Macken
The next free agent to fall under our microscope is former Preston and Barnsley striker Jon Macken.
Last Updated: 30/06/10 12:28pm
Macken burst onto the scene at Preston, having left Manchester United without making a senior appearance, proving himself to be a consistent goal-getter away from the glare of the Premier League. Since then he has scored goals wherever he has been and can boast a proven track record in the Championship. Macken, who turned out for England at Under 20 level, also has one full international cap with Republic of Ireland to his name. He is a hard-working frontman who is as happy laying on chances for others as he is taking them himself.
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 obviously a bit of a worry because your livelihood is on the line. It's your job, and it's the first time it has happened to me. It is a bit worrying because you are left in limbo, you are at the mercy of other people. You are relying on other people looking at you. Normally everything is in your hands, when you are out on the pitch.
There are more and more players dropping into the free agent market every year, is that an issue the authorities need to address?
I do think so. I definitely do. It's a worry and we are at a point now where you are seeing more and more players drift out of the game. I don't want to make a big issue out of the fact that there are so many players from different countries etc., that's football and is what makes the English game what it is, but there are a lot of British-based players who are 16 or 17 years old finding themselves out of a job and out of football. For me at 32 it's not as worrying as it is for them, but it is worrying for everyone.
What is your mindset heading into the summer, are you just looking to sit tight or are you trying to be pro-active?
I am trying to put my name about. You have to show that you still want to play the game, and I do. I still want to win things and achieve things the same as any player, so why should I end my career? It's just a bit concerning when nothing happens for six or seven weeks. You are waiting for the phone calls to happen.
Have you had any clubs show an interest so far?
One or two, but nothing has materialised for one reason or another. It's out of your hands. You just have to hold tight and hope a deal gets done. If it doesn't you have to look elsewhere. There are a lot of people in similar situations, hoping things will move on. But at the moment you are still thinking, 'what are you going to do for the rest of your life if you don't get anything?'. I'm not saying that happens, but it's a case for some.
Do you have any idea as to the standard you are aiming at and what level you would like to play? Are you looking to stay in the Championship?
I think I have still got a lot to give but if you have to go into another league, you move down. For me personally, I think if someone comes in for me and wants to sign me, they want to know me as a person and a player. I am more interested in those people than those who wanted me as second or third choice, because I don't agree with that. I understand that if you're not the first name on their list they have to go to the next one in that process but I would rather go somewhere where they really want me as a player and as a person.
Would you be willing to relocate? Do you have to accept that you need to move where the contracts are?
You do have to do that. Someone might offer me a contract now, and I have to think, 'do I take that?'. There might be five or six, and then you have a choice. But at the moment there isn't one so I can't make that decision.
Would you be willing to consider a move abroad?
Yeah. There are that many players coming to England from abroad you have to start looking at that. There are so many players like me at the moment, the same sort of age, who aren't getting contracts and getting clubs. I am not blaming that on foreign players because that's what makes the game, and there is some unbelievable talent but you are asking if I would go abroad and it's something you have to look at.
It's still relatively early in the summer, are you confident you will get something?
I do believe I will get something sorted but it's worrying because it's the first time it has happened to me. I am 32 years of age and you do think about when you might have to retire, but you don't think it will be when you are 32 or 33. I'm not saying it will come to that, but I'm out of work at the minute and unemployed.
What do you feel you would offer prospective employers? What do you feel are your best attributes?
I have missed, through injury, maybe a week-and-a-half of training in three or four years. I have been available for every game in every season, bar five or six. I think that's a massive thing. Also the way I contribute to the team performances, I think that's a big part of my game and always has been.
To see the full list of players currently available as free agents, provided by the PFA, click here.
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