Outgoing Charlton Athletic midfielder Darren Pratley has admitted to the South London Press that he was shocked to learn that he would be getting released by the Addicks this summer.
The 36-year-old was one of a plethora of players who were told that they were not going to be kept on by the South London side earlier this month and as a result he will be searching for a new club this summer.
It comes as a blow for the veteran ball winner as he had previously featured in 41 games across all competitions for the Sky Bet League One outfit as they only just missed out on a play-off place in the most narrow of circumstances.
Now, Pratley has provided his thoughts on his departure from the club, as he stated the following:
“I’m a little bit gutted.
“I played half of the season out of position at left-sided centre-half when everyone was injured. And I probably ended up with the most starts of the outfield players.
“I was the only player in the squad to train every day from the start of pre-season, and that is including goalkeepers as well. Some people would have missed a day or two, due to little injuries or knocks.
What club do these 21 former Charlton Athletic players ply their trade at now?
“I haven’t looked at my options yet. This came as a shock to me, so I wasn’t looking at clubs who could be out there. I didn’t go into the meeting in a bulletproof vest thinking I was going to get shot – but I did!
“I’ll leave that with my agent to see what options are out there.”
The midfield player is extremely experienced at Football League level and has previously taken in spells with the likes of Swansea City, Bolton Wanderers and Fulham in a career which has spanned three of England’s top divisions.
It’s clear that Charlton are looking to go in a new direction under Nigel Adkins, with the former Southampton boss having only been in the job for a matter of months.
There’s obviously a reason why Pratley has been moved on and I have to admit that I think it’s mainly down to his age.
He may well be as fit as a fiddle right now but one serious injury could well force him into retirement as he is well into his 30s now.
I do feel that we’ll see a lot of new players coming in through the doors of the Valley this summer and it will be intriguing to see what caliber of new recruit they get in to replace those who are leaving.