"You ask any parent what comes into your mind first - your family, your kids. Sometimes more important things than football take over"
Alan Judge has spoken about his summer of stress and turmoil in a revealing interview in Saturday’s matchday programme.
The Town midfielder discusses interest from the Championship; an injury that derailed his pre-season schedule and upheaval for his family but it’s a much more personal matter that has been the focus for him in recent months.
Town turned down offers for the Republic of Ireland international from QPR and Alan admits the move had its appeal - but for off-field reasons as much as football ones.
“QPR did come in for me. I know it was said that the move did appeal to me and yes it would have meant playing in the Championship but there were a number of other reasons why I would have been interested and they are personal reasons,” said Alan in an extended interview in the programme for the weekend game against Shrewsbury.
“My daughter Emily needs two operations and she needs those operations in London and I was living five minutes away from the hospital.
“You ask any parent what comes into your mind first - your family, your kids. The welfare of my family is number one for me. Always will be. I’ve kept it quiet until now. Only a few people know about it at the Club.
“I don’t want to go into the details of the surgery. There are two stages but they are big operations.
“I had to think about everything as a parent as much as a footballer and that’s why I felt staying in London and going to QPR was maybe the right thing to ask about. Sometimes more important things than football take over.
“I spoke to the owner and he said he understood my situation but wanted me to stay and that was the end of it. I was happy to get on with it from there.
“I can understand it that the fans can get disappointed if they hear a player wants to leave. They are entitled to their opinions but sometimes they are not aware of the full facts.
“I heard some comments that I didn’t care about the Club and all that but those people don’t know me. I’m not like that. I’ve always given everything wherever I’ve been.
“When the supporters watched me play against Sunderland they probably though ‘crikey, what’s going on with him?’. It was the same at Peterborough. I sat outside the dressing-room after that game and thought to myself ‘I can’t even cross a ball’. The gaffer overheard me talking to myself and he knew where my head was and said it will come right in time.
“I feel I’m getting there now though. I’ve got over the injury which put me back six weeks and my family have moved down to Ipswich this week which is massive for us as a family.
“My daughter will have her operations at the end of September so there is still the worry over that naturally but life is a bit calmer now and that will help my football.”
Read more from Alan on why he is confident Town can go up; his perfect end to the season and more in Saturday's matchday programme.