Former Hibs striker Derek Riordan believes some unknown figure in Scottish football has sabotaged his chances of finding a new club.
The 32-year-old, speaking in an interview with the Daily Record, insisted it’s the only explanation as to why teams have decided against offering him a deal.
You don’t just turn c*** overnight. I know I’m not out of football because I’m c***, that’s just untrue.Derek Riordan
The player has been without a club since leaving League Two East Fife at the tail end of last season. After being unsuccessful in his attempts to sign a new deal over the summer he began training at East Mains. However, manager Alan Stubbs has stated on more than one occasion that Hibs will not be offering their former fans’ hero a route back into full-time football.
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The striker is desperate to continue playing but feels managers have gotten the wrong impression of him.
“I don’t get it to be honest. Something strange has happened to me,” said Riordan. “You don’t just turn c*** overnight. I know I’m not out of football because I’m c***, that’s just untrue.
“Somebody has put something out there about me which isn’t right and I have suffered and struggled to get a club ever since. Somewhere along the line somebody has stuck the boot in and said stuff about me and it’s no coincidence I can’t get a club.
“People have questioned my attitude throughout my career and have the wrong impression of me. There’s something definitely not right.
“Ask Alan Stubbs and he’ll tell you the truth about what I’m really like because he has worked closely in training with me for four months. I’m fit and raring to go.”
Since leaving Hibs in 2011, Riordan has had brief spells in China (with Shaanxi Chan-Ba), St Johnstone, Bristol Rovers, Alloa Athletic and East Fife, as well as one game as a trialist for Brechin City.
He hasn’t played a match in the top two tiers of Scottish football since 2012, though he is adamant that, despite his advancing years, he’s more good than enough to compete at the highest level.
“I don’t get how I’m not playing regular first-team football in the Premiership or Championship,” continued Riordan.
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“I see what is playing in the leagues every week and I know that I’m better. I just find it strange and I don’t get what has happened to me. It is like something really bad.
“I have scored some amount of goals in my career yet nobody will give me a chance.”