Defender happy to get his chance with Town
Defender Anthony Gerrard insists that he wants to rebuild his career at Shrewsbury Town.
Gerrard, who is the cousin of former Liverpool and England captain Steven, has signed for Town on a non-contract basis having failed to find a club over the summer.
After featuring in the 2-0 defeat of Bury on Saturday, the ex-Cardiff City and Hull player expressed his delight at playing football again.
“It has been a long five months out in the wilderness for me so I appreciate the gaffer and what they have done for me,” Gerrard told ShrewsWeb.
“I’m just happy to put the boots on and get back onto the pitch and to keep a clean sheet was an added bonus.
“The lads worked tirelessly. Junior (Brown) worked his socks off at left-back and so did Abs (Ogogo) in midfield. You could go through the whole side. It was a very good effort.”
Gerrard’s deal is one of great rarity in professional football as he is not actually getting paid to play for the club, a situation the Merseyside-born centre-back admits is rather peculiar.
“It’s strange to be honest. It’s a very surreal situation I find myself in,” the 29-year-old revealed.
“It’s the first time I’m playing football and not getting paid since I was 15 years of age so it’s a strange feeling.
“I’m not interested in the money at present. I just want the opportunity to go and play football and I’m thankful for having the opportunity and I’m delighted to be back in the fold.”
Following his release from Huddersfield Town, Gerrard has been without a club since May and has not actually undergone a full pre-season programme.
Asked why he struggled to attract interest from clubs, he commented:“Nobody wanted to take me. I seem to get bad press for being an honest lad.
“Certain people in football don’t like honesty but the manager likes it and appreciates it and I appreciate him.”
And Gerrard is adamant that he is not one to be satisfied with earning his money whilst on the bench.
“I don’t think I’d be doing myself justice if I was happy to sit on the bench. That’s not me- I’ve never been one of those who is happy to sit on the bench,” he asserted.
“That’s not what you sacrifice all those years for. I didn’t become a footballer to sit on the bench. I want to play games.
“I’m keen to get fit- not just for myself but for the manager and everyone else. It would be a little bit of gratitude for letting me come in and show what I’ve got.
“Things are going alright at the present moment. I’m enjoying my football and I’m just absolutely over the moon to get back on the pitch and play.”
And, despite a lack of attention from other teams, the Everton youth product has been made very welcome at the Greenhous Meadow.
“It’s a lovely surrounding and a lovely stadium with a lovely atmosphere,” Gerrard suggested.
“I have arrived at other clubs and they haven’t talked to me for two days but as soon as I walked through the door the lads came straight over to me and put me at ease.
“Everyone has been absolutely top draw with me so hopefully I can repay them in getting some results and pushing us up the league.”
Shrewsbury take on fierce rivals Port Vale on Saturday and Gerrard is looking forward to the trip, one has made on numerous occasions.
“The last thing I remember at Vale’s ground is that it’s a massive pitch so I’ll have to get my legs together for that one,” he laughed.
“I’ve played there for Walsall many a time. It should be a good atmosphere.
“Hopefully we can produce a performance and a work ethic like we did against Bury and add a bit more quality to come away with the right result.”