Ex-Hartlepool United goalie Andy Rafferty reveals that he plans to carry on keeping

STILL INTENDS TO PLAY: Andy Rafferty in action against Billingham Town. Picture by FRANK REID
STILL INTENDS TO PLAY: Andy Rafferty in action against Billingham Town. Picture by FRANK REID

FORMER Hartlepool United keeper Andy Rafferty has moved to clarify that he is still looking to stay in football after leaving Pools.

Pools confirmed last week that the 26-year-old stopper has had his contract cancelled by “mutual consent” and chairman Ken Hodcroft revealed in Saturday’s programme the keeper had decided to “focus on his family and non-football employment”.

But the stopper took to social media site Twitter on Tuesday night, before the 2-0 defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge, to confirm he is still looking for a football club.

He said the reason he left the Sky Bet League Two club was because “opportunities were few and far between”.

Rafferty tweeted: “Just read reports that I have decided to focus on non-football employment. This is untrue.

“I am currently looking for a new club and hope to have something secured very soon.

“I’m disappointed to read untrue statements in regards to my decision to leave HUFC.

“The truth is opportunities were few and far between and I requested to mutually terminate my contract with HUFC and the club agreed.

“Hopefully will be employed again soon.”

A regular for the reserves, Rafferty found opportunities to play regular first team football limited and made seven appearances during his four years at the club.

The keeper had featured in pre-season matches but on the eve of the new campaign the club stated he had picked up an injury in training and subsequently missed the first two matches.

Then last Thursday club officials confirmed his contract had been cancelled by mutual consent.

In the Bury programme, Mr Hodcroft, said: “Andy has decided to focus on his family and non-football employment and it is with this in mind that the club accepted his resignation but myself and the club wish him all the very best for the future.”

Speaking after the match, manager Colin Cooper confirmed the club is looking for a permanent replacement.

Pools currently have Sunderland youth goalkeeper Joel Dixon sitting on the bench after he signed an emergency loan deal as cover.

Speaking on Saturday night, Cooper said: “I don’t want to put Andy in a position where he would feel uncomfortable, but it’s between Andy and his family. He needs to get on with his life with my best wishes.

“Sunderland have sent us Joel Dixon down quickly and we are looking at the situation.

“We need a goalkeeper in who can compete and push Scott [Flinders].”