Sjokkert over å ha blitt frigitt

Joe Rafferty var Pompeys førstevalg på høyrebacken i 2023/24. Ved sesongslutt fikk han beskjed om at han ikke får fornyet kontrakt. Det var ikke 30-åringen forberedt på.

NYHETER: Det ble totalt 68 kamper i Pompey-trøya for Joe Rafferty, som kom til Pompey fra Championship-klubben Preston for to år siden. I sin første sesong var han mye ute med skade, men i jubelsesongen vi har bak oss var Rafferty et soleklart førstevalg og spilte over 40 kamper. Han omtales også som en av lederfigurene i garderoben.

Det kom derfor som en overraskelse på mange at Rafferty var blant de mange spillerne som ved sesongslutt fikk beskjed om at han ikke ville få fornyet kontrakt. Rafferty innrømmer også selv at han rett og slett var sjokkert.

Han føler at han har Championship-nivået og kunne bidratt bra for Pompey også i 2024/25.

SE OGSÅ: Joe Raffertys spillerprofil


Joe Raffertys kommentarer

«It took me by surprise to be honest. Considering how well the season’s gone, I thought I‘d be staying or at least having the option to stay. I kind of feel a bit hard done to, I feel I deserve to be there next season and in the Championship, but that’s life sometimes. I think I’ve performed really well all season, it has been one of my better years. I started off the season getting forward quite a lot and got a few assists and then, as the campaign progressed, we had to switch it up a little and I was probably a bit more defensive towards the back end.

I speak to Raggs often and, with us both out of contract this summer, we talked about it. At the back of his mind, he thought he may leave because of the centre-backs they had brought in. I was slightly different, I thought it would be a no-brainer to keep me. I said that to the manager. I thought they’d definitely want me there on and off the pitch, so it shocked me a bit. As much as I disagreed with him on the points he gave, you have to accept it and move on.

I still feel I can play in the Championship, 100 per cent. When I came here, unfortunately my last season there with Preston didn’t see me play as much as I would have liked, I wasn’t in favour with the manager. But the other two-and-a-half years went really well under Alex Neil – and I know how good a manager he is.

I know if someone took me in the Championship, I’d be more than capable of playing there. That’s probably the biggest shame for me, knowing I have a lot to give in the next division and it’s a bit gutting I haven’t been given that chance.

When I brought the news home to my wife, she was really upset, she had just got fully settled down here, we moved to our home in Portchester in October. I was also a bit upset, even though I don’t really show it. But you’ve just got to look at how good it has actually been and every time I think of a certain point of the season and certain trip, you can’t help but smile. It has been wonderful.

Although I disagreed with the manager, we had a really good conversation and there’s no hard feelings towards him or any of the staff. I have spoken to Jon Harley and Zesh since, those three have been brilliant for us, there’s definitely no hard feelings. There are disagreements but that’s football. It has been such a good season and, as much as I’m disappointed with having to leave, we are definitely leaving on a high.

People go through their whole careers without having a season like we’ve had. To be champions of the league is incredible and I’m really proud of myself and all the lads for achieving it. I understood how difficult it is to get out of this league, so to achieve it in the manner we did was absolutely incredible.»