CLARKE CARLISLE admits he regrets turning down the Cobblers’ contract offer this summer.
Speaking in an interview with BBC Sport, the central defender admitted he had firm interest from ‘one or two’ clubs in the off-season but declined them because his media work was increasing.
Now Carlisle, who was a key figure in Northampton’s successful fight against relegation from the Football League last season, admits he now regrets that decision.
Northampton were keen to bring the 32-year-old back to Sixfields but moved on to other targets and eventually signed former Crewe Alexandra captain David Artell.
“It is not a scenario I have experienced before and has been made stranger because I had one or two contract offers earlier this summer but turned them down,” said Carlisle.
“At the age of 32 and with media opportunities beginning to come my way, I was thinking of retiring.
“Ultimately, and especially watching the opening weekend of the season and knowing I’m still very much able to play a good standard of football, I regretted that decision.
“I got back in touch with the clubs but, having declined their offers in the first place, I learned they had made other plans.
“The two offers I received were 80-90 per cent less than what I earned last season but, given how I feel now, I would have taken that. Anyway, it wasn’t about finance, I was considering retirement.”
Carlisle hinted that he is keen to continue playing but admits his options may now be limited.
“I’m probably in a more privileged position than some, where retiring and moving into a different industry is an option, but it is a time of real anxiety waiting for the phone to ring; you have no income but you still have bills to pay,” he said.
“The start of the season amplifies these anxieties because there is that finality about each club’s squad.
“No matter how much training you do on your own, you are always going to be weeks behind the lads who have been doing squad training for pre-season.”