David Blaney's career with Bristol Rugby is over
DAVID Blaney will not be returning to Bristol for the 2011-12 season after he and the club were unable to agree terms on a new deal.
The 32-year-old hooker held talks with Bristol during the off-season about extending his stay at the Memorial Stadium – but no agreement could be reached.
Blaney, who is still in Bristol having recently sat examinations relating to a potential future career in finance, has not returned for pre-season training at the club.
He will pursue a full-time job either in London or his native Dublin, but is also keen to continue playing rugby if the right opportunity arises.
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The former Leinster man, who joined Bristol during the 2006-07 season, said: "I was hoping to be coming back for this season, but we couldn't agree on terms.
"I think the club were quite keen to keep me on, but I couldn't take what they were offering me, so I have had to move on.
"I had really been looking forward to next season but now I'm resigned to the fact I won't be at Bristol.
"It's difficult, because I have had a great time at Bristol, but I have to think about what's right for me – and I'm already looking at a career outside rugby.
"I've loved it here and I wish the club the very best for next season. Hopefully Liam Middleton and the boys will do well next season – and I'll certainly be cheering them on."
Blaney had been linked with a move to last season's National Two South runners-up Jersey – and revealed they had been in touch with him over a move.
But the switch was dependent on him securing a job on the island to supplement his rugby income – so his focus has moved to the capital cities of England and Ireland.
"Jersey were on to me about playing for them – but it all came down to whether I could get a job out there," said Blaney.
"I'm looking to move back to Dublin or, potentially, to London. I am exploring a few opportunities and, fingers crossed, something will come up soon.
"If there's a good job somewhere but it means I can't play rugby anymore, then I might have to do that. I've got to do what's best for me and I am quite keen to move into the financial world."
Blaney had planned to return to the Bristol office of financiers Smith & Williamson – where he worked on a part-time basis last season – had he stayed with the club next term.
He said: "The plan was to work with Smith & Williamson again next season – and they have been great to me.
"But, because I couldn't come to an agreement with Bristol, I feel as if I've let Smith & Williamson down a little bit and I'm really sorry if that is the case."