Published: 00:00, 19 May 2016 |
Updated: 09:46, 23 May 2016
Tom Bradbrook left Dartford this week calling for fans to show part-time footballers more respect.
Bradbrook, a director for an insurance brokers in London, turned down a new deal at Princes Park because he needs to commit more time to his day job.
The 29-year-old found it increasingly difficult towards the end of last season to balance work and football commitments, a dilemma he doesn’t think all fans understand.
Bradbrook said: "I’ve got quite a big job in London and it’s got bigger over the last six months. I play football because I want to be there but it’s got to the point where I wasn’t able to give 100% for them so I’ve decided to call it a day.
"I don’t want to be phoning up Tony (Burman) every other week saying ‘I can’t come to training’ or ‘I’m going away on business so I’m going to miss this game and that game’.
"I wasn’t doing what I should have been at work in order to accommodate football. It’s my main job and I’ve got a family so it’s the right decision.
"People don’t realise how difficult it is for part-time players, especially in the Conference leagues, trying to do your full-time career job and then play football.
"I play for fun, not for money. I’m having to leave work 15 minutes early, rush back on the train, get into my house, throw my suit off, get straight into the car, don’t eat anything, just to get to training on time.
"I’ve done a full 11-hour day at work, so it’s difficult."
Bradbrook hasn’t completely closed the door on his football career but will take at least a year out.
He said: "My son’s two now so I’ve also looked at that. I don’t see him a lot during the week because my hours are quite long and the days I do get back, it’s for football and I’m rushing out.
"Most of Saturday is taken up with football. It’s not easy.
"People should respect players a lot more for the time they give up if they’ve got two jobs. If you play an evening game, you’ve had a long day at work.
"You might not perform the best but work’s got something to do with that."
In two spells with Dartford, Bradbrook made 105 appearances and scored 25 goals.
He said: "Last year (2014-15) was probably the best year I’ve had in football. I went from Ryman South to Conference Premier and enjoyed every minute of it.
"I know it was a bit of a disaster season in terms of where we finished but I loved it.
"I was at Dartford when I first started non-league football at 18 so to go back and play with my brother, it was brilliant for me."
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
We have four editions of our Kent Homes, Gardens and Interiors magazine for you to read. Click here to view them all.