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INTERVIEW: I just want to play games

Clint Hill on signing for United

22 September 2017

We spoke to defender Clint Hill just after he'd signed a short-term deal with United on Thursday.

“This is a challenge I’m looking forward to,” he said. “I’ve been in with the lads for a couple of weeks now after Keith [Curle] invited me in. I’ve obviously worked with him before at Crystal Palace and QPR and he was a big factor in me signing for the club. I’m looking forward to it.

“It was a while ago now but I had some good times at Crystal Palace and QPR with the gaffer. We got back into the Premier League at QPR so I know what he’s all about and how he works. I know what sort of character he is and he ticks all the boxes in that aspect. I’m just pleased we managed to get something over the line.

“I’ve played most of my career at a higher level but Keith was a big part in me signing for a League Two club. I know I’m no spring chicken but I want to play football. I’ve still got the love for the game and I said at the end of the Scottish season I didn’t mind where it was, as long as I was playing football and it was the right environment."

“I’ve been here now for a good few times and I’ve enjoyed it," he continued. "I think it’s a good environment and I just hope I can come in now and help the lads. Looking back, I’ve turned down a lot of offers over the last couple of months. I was sat on the train up today thinking about it and once you start turning things down you do worry whether the phone will keep ringing.

“Thankfully Keith managed to get me up here and I’ve enjoyed my time with the group. It’s about getting some game time in my legs and hopefully helping to push us up the league. The gaffer hasn’t had to say anything specifically to get me here, it’s sometimes more about knowing how people work. I know what he does on a weekly basis and more importantly he knows what I can do. I’m sure he’ll look after me in certain aspects when I need that as well.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge, it’s a great set of lads like I’ve said and it’s all about getting up the league now and pushing at the right end of the table."

“I’m not a big fan of social media but it’s always nice to hear that fans want you to sign for their club," he admitted. "I gave Twitter a go but I didn’t really enjoy it. I try not to bother with all of that!

"This is a good club with great facilities. The gym is good and the training ground is good, we just need to kick up that league now and make sure we have a good middle part of the season which is important."

“My motivation all comes from enjoying the game," he told us. "I am a motivated person and I want to be involved in a team environment. Being out of it for the past two months has been a shock to the system to be honest. I’ve missed that day to day involvement of being around people and challenging people.

“I’ve been at a good number of clubs during that time but for whatever reason it didn’t materialise. Maybe it’s fate, who knows. I’m going to enjoy my time here, initially it’s only a short-term deal which backs the club and the player. Hopefully I can do well and extend it. If I’m doing well then the team are doing well."

“Even at my age I feel like I’ve got something to prove every day," he admitted. "There are doubters everywhere and there are loads of people out there who think they know better. I’ve had to do it all my career. I’m sure there will be doubters here who will look at my age and all that kind of stuff. There will be people for me to prove wrong so I’ll just be looking to do what I’ve done throughout my career and do that.

“We’ve got some good defenders here already and it’s all about competition. If I can come in and help in any way, then great. I want to play, that’s the challenge I’ve set myself first and foremost. I’ll be looking to do well in training and if anybody slips up or has a bad game then hopefully I can get in the team and make it hard for them.

“A big part of my game is communication and I think everyone will get sick of hearing my voice! Communication is a big thing for me, I’m a big believer in it and I don’t think there’s enough of it in the game. If it can help your game by 10% or your partner’s game by 10% it can only help the game. I don’t see why people don’t do it more because it’s the easiest part of the game. I’ll be bringing a lot of that to the table and hopefully it will benefit the team."

“I think I’ve played two and a half games in three months so match sharpness is the big thing for me now," he told us. "I’m fit, I can train, but match fitness is a different thing. It’s usually after five or six games where you start to find your feet but I’ll be looking to hit the ground running before that if I do get that chance."

“Although the team did get close to promotion last season my decision to come here was more about the feel of the place," he said. "It’s all about going and doing it again and going one better. You can’t rest on your laurels, no matter what league you’re in. Just because you were in the play-offs last year it doesn’t give you an automatic right to do it again.

"Teams will look at how we did last year and want to go another level to beat us. We need to raise ourselves to match that and get into that top six which is the big challenge now.

“The short-term deal covers both parties. If I do well there’s an incentive to go again until the end of the year. If things don’t work out for whatever reason then it isn’t like the club are tied into a year’s contract. I’m obviously trying to look on the positive side, hopefully we can have a good first 15-20 games together then we can deal with the contract in January.

“I’ve been out for three months and I’ve now got 48 hours to try and get in the team for the game at Crewe. It’s brilliant, that’s what I wanted. I want to play games, I want that little bit of nervousness and anxiety before a game which I love. I can’t wait to get back involved.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with Clint Hill on iFollow United now.   

Click HERE to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.

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