Freedman explains decision to play but insists it is no comeback

09:48 25 July 2012

Playing Days: Dougie Freedman celebrates a goal against Barnsley with Tony Popovic. Picture: Andrew Budd/PA Archive

Playing Days: Dougie Freedman celebrates a goal against Barnsley with Tony Popovic. Picture: Andrew Budd/PA Archive

PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Crystal Palace manager pulled on the red and blue shirt for the first time in four years against Dulwich Hamlet

Crystal Palace manager Dougie Freedman has revealed that he decided to make a cameo appearance in order to make up for the fact that a young side had played at Dulwich Hamlet.

The Eagles had previously said that they would have a strong side at Champion Hill but the torrential rain in Exeter forced a change to the south Londoner club’s plans meaning a young team played against Dulwich.

“What had happened was we’d promised to bring a first team down here but because of the Exeter situation we had to mix up our games so we’ve had to prepare for that,” Freedman said.

“It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t bring a first team down to add a few quid to the gate and a few quid to Dulwich because they are certainly a team that we are close to.”

However, Freedman insisted that it was not going to be a regular thing.

“I think the way I’m feeling right now it’ll be another couple of years before you see another cameo 15 minutes,” he added.

“It was announced as a first team game and I couldn’t quite do it.

“I thought if I played 10 minutes it’d take away the disappointment.”

The 38-year-old still showed he had the vision, setting up Reise Allassani to score Palace’s third goal but when given his opportunity from the youngster, could only hit the post.

“That’s what happens if you don’t hit a shot well - It won’t go in,” he added.

“Because of the circumstances we couldn’t bring a first team down here. We’ll have a look at that and get our first team down here.

“I thought I’d give myself 10 minutes to see the manager playing and maybe a good feeling when they go home after seeing one old guy playing alongside the youngsters we have here.”

In his two spells as an Eagles player, Freedman made 370 appearances and scored 110 goals.

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