DESPITE his immediate future being far from certain, Kendal’s Garry Thompson insists he is ready to embrace the new chapter which lies ahead after his release from Bradford City.
The 33-year-old made 102 appearances during an eventful two-year stint at Valley Parade but was deemed surplus to requirements and not offered a new deal when his existing contract expired.
The former Scunthorpe United and Morecambe midfielder is now seeking pastures new as he looks to extend a notable career during which Wembley Stadium has become something of a second home.
And while the experienced winger is unlikely to be without suitors, Thompson is adamant that any offers which transpire need to tick certain boxes.
“Nobody likes to be released and it’s obviously disappointing but it’s part and parcel of football and you move on,” he said.
“I had two great years at Bradford but I understand the club wants to evolve and they see that progression without me and that’s fair enough.
“It happens up and down the country and I’m no different to anyone else. I’ll look to the new challenge.
“There is uncertainty as I could be anywhere in the country in the space of a few weeks, as things can change very quickly.
“It’s a little bit nerve-racking but exciting at the same time as you never know what challenges are around the corner but I’m thoroughly looking forward to whatever comes next.
“There are a few irons in the fire but these things take a while. It’s not just a case of walking in and signing on the dotted line.
“When clubs show interest, options have to be worked through and weighed up, for myself and my wife.
Thompson graced the Wembley turf twice during his first year in West Yorkshire as Bradford enjoyed an eye-catching run to the League Cup final and also won promotion through the League Two play-offs.
He scored a memorable volley as the Bantams knocked out Premier League giants Arsenal on penalties in the quarter-final en route to their showdown with Swansea City at the national stadium.
And after a remarkable run of form ended with play-off glory against Northampton Town, Bradford consolidated their position in League One last season, a source of considerable pride for Thompson.
“It was an incredible two years for the club and superb to be part of,” he added.
“Over the last two seasons there could be a lifetime of memories and I cannot envisage it happening again.
“Everything that actually happened in that season will probably never be repeated as long as I’m playing football.
“We played more than 60 games and had some massive matches against some big Premier League teams, and then we only lost three from 18 after the final.
“So to progress after the disappointment of the League Cup and get back to Wembley again and banish those demons of defeat was brilliant.
“And then to round things off by finishing 11th in League One last season has been really good progression for the club and I wish them well.”
Thompson made more than 300 appearances during a nine-year spell at Morecambe and is no stranger to the big stage, first playing at Wembley in the 2007 Conference play-off final.
He scored the equaliser as the Shrimps recorded a 2-1 win against Exeter before joining Scunthorpe United on a free transfer twelve months later.
The ex-Queen Katherine School student also played his part as the Iron reached both the League One play-off and the Football League Trophy final in 2009.
“I look back over my career so far and to have played at Wembley as many times as I have is something else,” he said.
“To play there once would have been good enough but to have been there five times in unbelievable.
“I’ve had a couple of disappointments but in the play-off games, which you would say are the main ones, I’ve enjoyed success. I’ve only great memories of Wembley.”