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Page last updated at 14:35 GMT, Thursday, 17 July 2008 15:35 UK

Freedman marks a decade at Palace

Dougie Freedman
Freedman is looking forward to his testimonial

Crystal Palace legend Dougie Freedman feels he has had an eventful time during his decade at the club.

He joined the club in 2005 from Barnet and then left Nottingham Forest to rejoin the Eagles in 2000.

"It's been quite a ride. Supporting Crystal Palace is a rollercoaster and that's what attracts the fans," the Scottish striker told BBC London 94.9.

"It would have been nice to have gone into the Premiership and stayed but there isn't too many boring things that have happened in the 10 years."

The 34-year-old will mark his 10 years at the club with a testimonial match against Fulham on Tuesday, 29 July at Selhurst Park.

He is Palace's longest serving player having had two separate spells at the club.

Freedman started his career at QPR and also played for Barnet, Wolves and Nottingham Forest.

He spent the latter part of last season on loan at Leeds.


The Palace fans will tell you I like to make and take goals. I get a lot of thrills from making goals. It might be from the way I was brought up. I like to play exciting football, I like the fans to get excited but you can't beat scoring a goal.


The wooden seats, South London, it's hard to get to, not very nice to go to. That's what we want.


He is a big character. He's been fantastic for Crystal Palace over the years. He's always put the club first. And when he does say some outrageous things he only means the best for the club. If he leaves it will be a big hole. I don't know if he is going to leave, he loves the club that much. He's a fan, his brother and his dad are fans of Crystal Palace. I think he's truthful in what he says, he speaks from the heart. He's spent a lot of money on the youth and then sees a young player go to Tottenham with a compensation figure of 700,000 for a potential England player, it's hard to take.


Iain Dowie would be on your case if you weren't in at 9 in the morning, Dave Bassett would be on my case if I didn't go up to Glasgow and spend five days there. Iain Dowie made us believe. Yes, he did work us a little bit more physically but I don't believe that's what got us promotion. I think he got us believing we can get promotion. His sidekick John Harbin made us believe that we were fitter, I don't believe we were but he made us believe that. But that's what Iain Dowie did, the belief grew. His routine definitely worked.


The money's spoiled it. There have always been the likes of John Bostock and Kevin Gallen. The big boys have got that much money they can do what they want. It makes it a bit boring. You're never going to find someone jumping into the top four.


It's difficult. You throw 100,000 a week at anyone and ask them to be the same person. It's not the person that will change, it's the people around them that will change. Nine times out of 10 the football player wants a simple life but they think they have to act up to this superstar status. That's where it's crucial the experienced players, the manager have certain standards that everyone should agree with.


I'm so fortunate that I've never had to work a day in my life! What I'm trying to do for my testimonial is to invite a lot of the players I played with. When I'm phoning up the likes of Dean Austin, the Andy Linergan, Dean Gordon, I've not seen them for 10 years but within 10 seconds you're back with the banter and they can't wait to come back.


It doesn't get any easier. We get paid well to do it. It's two or three weeks of your life and you've just got to get on with it. Your fitness will drop 25% within a week and it can take two weeks to get it back. If you've got anything about you, you'll keep things ticking over in the summer. That's the biggest change from when I started.


I'm committed to doing my badges and I'm half way through them. I think it's a crime not to do them. No matter what level I go in at, whether it's the top or the bottom I've got to give something back. You can't spend 20 years in football and not give something back.


From the tunnel man Joe to the chairman Simon Jordan, to Ron Noades to Steve Coppell there's so many different memories. I went to Geoff Thomas' charity match and in that dressing room - Mark Bright, Ian Wright, Alan Pardew, Steve Coppell, Chris Coleman so many top people in the Crystal Palace family. I have so many good memories, some bad memories - that's fine - but so many characters.

see also
Jordan will quit Palace next year
16 Jul 08 |  Crystal Palace
Warnock searches for new strikers
16 Jul 08 |  Crystal Palace
Sky Blues closing in on Morrison
16 Jul 08 |  Coventry
Palace reject two Watson offers
14 Jul 08 |  Crystal Palace
Freedman agrees new Palace deal
20 Jun 07 |  Crystal Palace
Freedman agrees new Palace deal
03 Jul 05 |  Crystal Palace

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