Wigan Athletic guest column - Anthony Pilkington

Anthony Pilkington
Anthony Pilkington

The move happened very quickly and I’m delighted to be here.

I did have other options, there were a couple of other clubs out there.

But I just wanted to get back playing football and enjoying myself again.

I haven’t played at all this season, having not been named in Cardiff’s 25-man squad for the Premier League.

It’s been very frustrating for me, being fit to play but not able to get out there because you’re not in the squad

I didn’t play for the Development Squad either, because the manager wanted the lads who weren’t playing regularly in the league to top up their minutes there.

In any job if you’re going in Monday to Friday and practicing what you want to do, you want to be able to do it when it counts on a Saturday.

Every footballer would tell you the same, they’d feel the same frustration.

It doesn’t matter how much you’re paid, or anything else like that.

When you’re not able to go out there and do something you love it is incredibly frustrating.

Being able to come in to a nice training ground every day is nice, but ultimately you’re in football to play games and win matches.

If that buzz is taken away from you, for whatever reason, it’s not nice.

I just can’t wait to get back out there on the training pitch and on a match day.

I have been training all season, trying to keep my fitness up.

I’m generally a fit lad and I’ve always kept myself in good shape anyway.

I’d like to think one of the things people would say about me is that I’m a good professional - which you have to be in this day and age.

It’s not a long career, and you’ve really got to look after yourself if you want to make the most of it.

Obviously match fitness is slightly different to general fitness, so it’s not quite where I’d want it to be.

But you only get match fit by playing matches, and the games are coming thick and fast so I’m eager to get going as quickly as possible.

This was a great opportunity for me to come here and play football.

It’s a brilliant football club to come and play for.

As soon as the gaffer got in touch and we’d had a chat, I rang my family up here and it was an easy decision.

I live not too far away from here (in Bolton), I was brought up not too far away from here (in Blackburn), so it’s an area I know very well.

To have so many of my family around me now was a big thing for me, because I’ve been out on the road for a few years.

The last seven or eight years I’ve been down at Norwich and then Cardiff, which is a long, long way from here.

My family have always been massive in my career, so supportive in whatever I’ve done, and it’s nice to be back here now so close to them.

My mum, my dad, my brother, my wife, my two little boys...they’ve done a lot of travelling and always at games with me.

I lost my grandad at the weekend, so it’s been a tough few days for the family.

He used to come to most of my games, and when it looked as though I was going to Ipswich he said, ‘Ooh, that’s a long way to travel’.

I’m sure he’ll be happy up there now, still be watching me...and I’ll be playing for him as well as the rest of my family.

* Anthony Pilkington was speaking to Paul Kendrick