Paul Anderson looking for fresh start at Northampton Town after deadline day drama

Paul Anderson endured a frantic week ahead of his deadline day transfer after being given just six days to find a new club.
Paul Anderson makes his debut for Northampton during their televised game with MK Dons EMN-160709-130805002Paul Anderson makes his debut for Northampton during their televised game with MK Dons EMN-160709-130805002
Paul Anderson makes his debut for Northampton during their televised game with MK Dons EMN-160709-130805002

The former Nottingham Forest winger joined Bradford City as a marquee signing in the summer of 2015 after his release by Championship side Ipswich Town.

But having spent most of last season on the sidelines with a broken leg, the Yorkshire club decided the 28-year-old was a luxury they could do without.

Anderson said: “A week before the deadline day Bradford spoke to me and said they were looking to cut a few things at the club and try to reduce the wage bill. Unfortunately I was their main target.

“They gave me six days to go and find a new club. On deadline day I still didn’t know what was going to happen.

“I hadn’t really wanted to leave the Championship, but I felt Bradford were going in the right direction so it would be taking one step back to take two forward in the long run.”

Newly-promoted Northampton Town came to the rescue, confirming their interest on the eve of deadline day before signing Anderson just a few hours before the transfer window shut.

Manager Rob Page drafted him straight into the starting XI for the televised match with MK Dons leaving Anderson pleased to get 70 minutes under his belt.

He added: “I know Northampton have had their financial difficulties over the last few years, but new owners have come in and the club is being run in the right way.

“It is not the biggest of clubs, but they are heading the right way and there is a really nice feeling around the club.”

Anderson became a father for the first time in April and the domestic responsibilities that entails didn’t make the uncertainty any easier.

“If you are a single lad you have nothing to worry about,” he said.

“You can move around and live in a hotel for a few weeks, but when you have other people to think about, you have to think more about the logistics. I had to make sure I didn’t mess it up for my son.”

Without a club in the summer of 2015, Anderson missed the whole of pre-season, but made his Bradford debut in August.

But little more than a month later and after just 10 appearances, the former Melton Fox broke his leg against Peterborough and was out for seven months.

It was the longest injury lay-off of his career and gave him plenty of time to reflect.

It even caused a dramatic U-turn in his long-term plans.

“Last year was really tough; it makes you appreciate playing that much more,” he said.

“I started watching other games and suddenly felt I should go into coaching. It was the first time I had thought that.

“Before I didn’t like the thought of losing my weekends once I retired and not spending that time with my family.

“But when you are out for that period of time, you realise how much you miss the environment.”

Talk of retirement, however, is still grossly premature.

The boy who signed for Liverpool as a 17-year-old still has a hunger for the game despite its many pitfalls.

Three times Anderson has had Premier League promotion dashed by the play-offs, with Forest, twice, and Ipswich, but despite dropping down to League One, he still harbours hopes to play at the top level.

“I’m 28 and everyone says that between 27 and 30 you are at your peak,” he added.

“I’m realistic that a Premiership club won’t want to sign me now unless I have a spectacular few seasons, and stranger things have happened, but I still have that desire to be part of a team who gets promoted to the Premier.

“I just need to learn to stop tackling big players.”