Veteran Halford says Aberdeen boss McInnes has tried to sign him ‘a couple of times before’

Derek McInnes.
Derek McInnes.

Versatile veteran Greg Halford revealed Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes has tried to sign him twice before.

Halford, pictured below, joined the Reds to ease the defensive injury struggles this term.

The 34-year-old has spent his entire career in the English lower leagues, but says there was no sales pitch needed to bring him north, with McInnes lauding his experience when the deal was announced.

Halford said: “The initial contact was through my agent.

“It happened very, very quickly. Obviously the team had injuries, which meant an opportunity to come up here.

“The manager’s tried to sign me a couple of times before, which is always nice.

“It’s a nice feeling when a manager wants you and has tried to get you at other clubs as well.

“There was an opportunity when I was at Portsmouth and he tried to get me for Bristol.”

Halford in his Portsmouth days.

Halford added: “He (McInnes) didn’t need to sell Aberdeen to be honest.

“I had offers from League One and League Two clubs, but I wasn’t prepared to move down to League Two – even though they were offering more money than League One clubs.

“Money’s never been a motivator for me, it’s football that’s the priority.

“Coming up here, playing against the clubs we’ll be playing in the next few weeks – it’s exactly what I wanted to do.”

Halford described his first training and match day experiences with Aberdeen as “good”, but “cold”.

However, having not made a first-team start since he played for Cardiff against Bristol in February 2017, and having been without a contract with a club since leaving South Wales in July of that year, he’s loving being signed up and involved in day-to-day football.

Halford said: “I’m settling in well, it’s just nice to come in training, seeing faces and being around a group. It’s exactly what I wanted and needed.

“When I was at Sunderland we had a friendly at Falkirk, and when I was at Wolves we had a pre-season up here and played Hearts.

“I came up with Rotherham as well, when Steve Evans was the manager.

“I’d watched a few (Aberdeen) games to be fair, the televised ones against Rangers.

“I wasn’t specifically looking ahead, but obviously I’m a football fan and if there’s football on TV I will watch it.”

Halford was on the bench for the 2-0 league loss to Hamilton, but wasn’t in the squad for the Scottish Cup quarter-final draw with Rangers at the weekend.

However, he says the prospect of soon playing competitively again is “exciting”, even more so if his first minutes come against Celtic at Parkhead in the Premiership today.

Halford said: “It’s going to be exciting.

“I got nerves before the Hamilton game – I even got nerves before the Rangers game as well, even though I wasn’t involved.

“I’m champing at the bit to get my first minutes and progress from there.

“100% (hopes to be involved against Celtic). These are the games everybody wants to play in.

“Playing the two Glasgow teams and with Celtic being the dominant champions over the last few years, it’s a place every footballer wants to play.

“We’ll go there looking for the three points and to put on a good display.”