NI's Gareth McAuley left unsure about his West Brom future

Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley. Pic Colm Lenaghan/PacemakerNorthern Ireland's Gareth McAuley. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Gareth McAuley has been left in limbo over his West Brom future, but the defender still plans on continuing his career even if it is away from The Hawthorns.

The 38-year-old Northern Ireland international’s deal with the Baggies is up next month and, after seven years with the club, he is in the dark over whether his current employers wish to extend his contract following their relegation to the Championship.

McAuley played just 456 minutes in West Brom’s disastrous top-flight campaign, a season after accumulating over 3,000 when they finished in the top half, and admits he was frustrated at his lack of opportunities under Tony Pulis, Alan Pardew and then Darren Moore.

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“It’s been a difficult season - not having played an awful lot as well and it’s the first time I’ve experienced that in my career,” McAuley said.

“Obviously (I’m) very frustrated as I thought I could have helped out more than I did.

“It’s out of your hands if you are not playing. Ending in relegation is gutting, especially after the seven years I’ve had at the club.

“I want to play next year - I’ve not spoken to West Brom, or no-one has been in contact with me since the end of the season. I don’t know where that sits.

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“I haven’t been told, ‘We want you there or we don’t want you’. I’m not sure what the club is thinking about me.

“I am absolutely fine with Darren Moore - he’s been great since he’s gone in there and put the values back into the club that were missing and leaving for a while.

“That’s great and I think he’ll do a good job for the club going forward.”

With West Brom providing no clarity over his future, McAuley is prepared to continue playing elsewhere and he is open to the possibility of his next destination being abroad.

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“It’s not particularly important to stay in the UK,” added McAuley.

“If I have to leave West Brom then I have to move my kids and my family anyway.

“Abroad would possibly interest me, but it doesn’t have to be somewhere warm or anything like that, I just want to be playing regular football.”