Clubs ignoring Derek Riordan’s play-for-free offer

Former Hibernian and Celtic striker Derek Riordan. Picture: Greg Macvean
Former Hibernian and Celtic striker Derek Riordan. Picture: Greg Macvean
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Former Hibernian and Celtic striker Derek Riordan has revealed that clubs have knocked back his offer to play for free.

Riordan, 30, has been without a club for more than 12 months and also saw several requests to train with teams rejected until Alloa Athletic granted him access to their facilities.

The former Scotland forward, who was released by English League Two side Bristol Rovers in December 2012, said: “I’ve asked quite a few clubs for training and it’s been a no-go, which I can’t understand.

“It’s odd for me. I’ve offered to play for nothing and nobody’s taken it up. I’ve changed agents a couple of times and, whether you’re getting the right information back, I don’t know.

“It could be that someone’s put out a bad word about me. I think I’ve only had one breach of the peace charge in my life, so it’s not exactly that bad. I don’t know what it is. It is quite frustrating.”

Riordan had two spells with Hibernian, either side of a two-year stay at Celtic, and scored 90 goals for the Easter Road club but he claimed that Hibs chairman Rod Petrie was one of those who turned down his request for training facilities.

“I phoned Rod myself and asked to go in training, but he said no because of what I said in the paper about the current team under Pat Fenlon,” Riordan told BBC Scotland.

“I was only saying it as a Hibs fan. I had not been back to see Hibs after the 5-1 defeat by Hearts in the Scottish Cup final.”

Alloa manager Paul Hartley has allowed Riordan to train with the part-time Championship outfit while he looks for a club and the player is grateful to his former Celtic team-mate.

“I’ve been dying to get back into football since the summer,” added Riordan. “I’ve been training at Alloa the last 10-11 weeks and been enjoying it there. I am definitely fit enough. I could play tomorrow if I wanted.”

Riordan enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Garry O’Connor at Hibs and his former team-mate harbours hopes that the pair could link up again in the Championship.

O’Connor made his debut for Morton at the weekend and has spoken to manager Kenny Shiels about Riordan’s availability.

“It would be fantastic to have Deeks on board, but I’m afraid I can’t make that decision,” said O’Connor. “Obviously Kenny has spoken to me about Deeks’ situation and, I’m not sure, maybe Kenny will give him a call.”