Ex-Cardiff and Aberdeen player Greg Halford: I was desperate to return to Portsmouth - but Kenny Jackett turned me down

Greg Halford, who made 77 appearances for Pompey, attempted to return to the club in February 2019. Picture: Steve ReidGreg Halford, who made 77 appearances for Pompey, attempted to return to the club in February 2019. Picture: Steve Reid
Greg Halford, who made 77 appearances for Pompey, attempted to return to the club in February 2019. Picture: Steve Reid | JPIMedia
Greg Halford has revealed how Pompey rejected his offer of an emotional Fratton Park return.

And the versatile performer has accepted he will never again feature for the Blues.

Halford made 77 appearances and scored 12 times for Pompey before among a swathe of senior players instructed to leave in the summer of 2013 to ensure the club’s survival.

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He subsequently represented Nottingham Forest, Brighton, Rotherham, Birmingham, Cardiff and Aberdeen.

Yet Pompey have always remained close to his heart – and in February 2019 he attempted to come back.

However, Kenny Jackett turned down the free agent, who instead moved to Aberdeen.

Now aged 35, Halford has conceded that represented his last chance.

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He told The News: ‘One of my fondest memories as a player was playing for Pompey.

‘It didn't work out for our period of time, but I keep an eye on them and have tried getting back a couple of times, but Kenny’s not having any of it!

‘Fair enough, they were doing well in League One at the time – and I have the utmost respect for Kenny and Joe (Gallen).

‘I had them at Rotherham for a very short period, that is my connection with Kenny.

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‘Last season there were a lot of rumours going around social media about whether I was going to come back.

‘I know Kenny said we hadn't spoken and kind of quashed it there and then, but we actually had spoken a little bit. There was nothing there, though, so no need to ask any more questions about it.

‘I contacted Kenny to ask and we actually had a good chat about it. I tried to sell myself, but I’m not a very good salesman!

‘At the same time, even if I didn’t play as much, I felt my experience in that league and the way I can be with younger players could help guide them.

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‘Kenny doesn’t have a massive backroom staff, so I thought I could be their link between the players and staff, helping them out that way.

‘He went back, had a think about it, and made his decision. So that’s it.

‘Even now I’d love to be able to go back and pull on that blue shirt again and help them out. However, I think that time has gone now.’

Halford had been training with West Brom and Luton last season before making his approach to Pompey.

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Following Jackett’s rejection, he moved to Aberdeen in February 2019 for the remainder of the campaign.

He subsequently made just two substitute appearances for the Scottish Premiership club – and is now seeking a deal at Walsall.

He added: ‘I hardly played at Aberdeen, I wasn’t match fit, but had trained enough after being with West Brom and Luton.

‘When Aberdeen came up, I thought it would be a good opportunity to try something new, to go to a different league.

‘It didn’t work out for a number of reasons. It kind of killed my career more than anything else, I haven’t had a look in anywhere since.’

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