Carlow native Pádraig Amond has opened up on how his five-year spell with Newport County was ended by a brief 25-second phone call.
Amond is out of contract this summer and spent the season just gone on loan with Exeter City after falling out of favour with former Newport boss Michael Flynn.
The 34-year-old helped Exeter secure promotion from League Two while Newport finished in mid-table but the striker was not expecting to be retained by a club where he made the headlines with FA Cup goals against Manchester City, Leicester, and Middlesbrough.
However, he was somewhat miffed by the manner of how the news was communicated earlier this week by Flynn’s replacement James Rowberry. Amond was at a celebratory parade in Exeter when the call came.
"This is new for me, the first time in seven years that I’ve been out of contract,” said Amond, who revealed news of his Newport exit on the LOI Central podcast.
"It’s a cut-throat industry. I signed five seasons ago (for Newport), I played over 200 games for them, scored 60 odd goals and I got released in a 25-second phone call. And 10 to 12 seconds of that was the manager introducing himself to me because of a change of number.
"I live three or four minutes’ away from the (Newport) training ground. I was down in Exeter for the promotion parade, with my Mam, Dad, my wife and son and I was walking to go and meet the bus.
"The phone call happened so quickly they didn’t even know I was on the phone. It doesn’t surprise me. I know what football is like. It does hurt.
"You can have such an affiliation and spend such a time at a club but it works both ways. You hear players get criticised for showing no loyalty but it works both ways with everyone.”
Amond has no firm plans for his future but is open-minded on the prospect of coming back to the League of Ireland after a dozen years away. In January, the Irish Independent revealed that Amond was close to signing for Sligo Rovers but the club pulled the plug on the deal at the last minute.
The player has not discussed the specifics of what happened with Sligo but admitted that he was “devastated” when a proposed LOI switch fell through.
“I wasn’t looking to leave actively. It’s something that popped up and I agreed everything. I had put my house up for sale,” explained Amond.
“I’d never say anything about where I want to finish my career because you just don’t know in football. You can have the greatest plan ever and it can all fall apart. We’re just seeing what happens now.”