BLUES EXIT WAS ON THE CARDS
Fahey’s ready to make fresh start
BIRMINGHAM City midfielder Keith Fahey has vowed to bounce back after being axed.
Fahey, 30, was shown the door by Birmingham after manager Lee Clark opted not to take up the two-year contract option that the club held.
Fahey was on a contract that was signed when Birmingham were in the Premier League and that fact, as well as concerns over his fitness, led Clark to show him the door.
Hip and groin problems ended his season in March, just two games into his comeback following five months on compassionate leave in Dublin.
Fahey said:“I’m going home and I will keep recovering. I’m not 100 per cent fit yet from injury, so I’ll keep working on that and then I’ll see what options I have over the summer.
“I’m sad to be leaving because I’ve had some good times here, and I was settled. Since I came to the club we’ve had a promotion, two good years in the Premier League, relegation, a good European cup run and the League Cup Final as well.
“In four-and-a-half years it’s been a success for me, anyway, and the club has been pretty successful while I’ve been here. I’m feeling it now because we’re not doing quite as well.
“But I’ve really enjoyed my time here, I’d just like to thank all the fans and everybody at the club who made me feel welcome.
“Wembley and winning the League Cup was massive. That was the best day of my life.
“The promotion day (when Birmingham beat Reading on the final day in 2009), when I scored one and assisted on one, I don’t think I realised how big it was when it happened.
“As highlights, I can’t pick between the two. If I was offered promotion like that on the last day of the season again I’d celebrate it like there was no tomorrow.
“Playing in the Premier League is where you want to be and if you drop out of it you realise how tough it is with so many games a season.
“The European run was good as well. It was different playing in Europe. I enjoyed the last year and having a good season in the centre of midfield, which I hadn’t had the chance to do before.”
Fahey, who made 144 appearances for Blues and scored nine goals after his £300,000 move from St Patrick’s Athletic in January 2009, wasn’t surprised to be released.
He added: “I expected it because I was watching TV and reading the newspapers, and it was clear what the manager was saying and how the club was going to be, going forward. The writing was on the wall and when I went in and was told I was ready for it. I’m very disappointed, but I can’t make the club keep me.
“Basically they couldn’t afford to. It wasn’t about money for me, it wasn’t me saying ‘Listen, I want what I am entitled to’ because they had an option on me and a reduced contract wasn’t offered.
“It was just a case of the club saying ‘Sorry, we can't keep you’.”
AXED: Keith Fahey in action for Birmingham. Inset: Lee Clark. Left: Fahey lifts the Carling Cup