BILLY Clarke regrets that he was not given the chance of furthering his coaching ambitions with City.

The experienced Irishman is on the look-out for a new club in the summer again following his Valley Parade release last month.

Clarke was not too surprised to see his name among those let go after an underwhelming season fizzled out in 15th place.

But as he continues to work towards his UEFA A coaching badge, he believes there could have been the opportunity for a potential dual role among the staff.

“I never expected to be a regular player but with me going into the coaching side, I felt I could have been utilised in that area,” he said.

“There were only myself, Neil Matthews, John Vaughan and Derek (Adams) now who have played.

“I thought the club could have used me like that as a link to the players and then I maybe could have played in the Football League Trophy games or something like that.

“I still think I’m more than capable of playing and I’m not saying I’m past it. But I know I could have started my coaching career at Bradford.

“That was always in the back of my mind that it might happen.”

Clarke combined playing last season with coaching City’s under-16s – a hectic schedule juggling both around the congested fixture list.

“It was difficult at times but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I saw it as a bit of pathway for me as a player/coach.

“A lot of clubs have done it. You’ve got James Coppinger at Donny, Paul Gallagher at Preston, Phil (Parkinson) took Andrew Taylor with him at Sunderland.

“It’s not like I’m reinventing the wheel here. I just thought it was an area where the club could have used me but obviously, they didn’t feel the same.

“When I spoke to Conor (Sellars) and Mark (Trueman), they sounded keen on it but then that changed pretty quickly.

“Derek has come in and will obviously bring in his own assistant and whatever.”

This is not the first summer when Clarke has been without a club. Two years ago, he had to wait until the season was well underway before Plymouth gave him a short-term shot.

After a successful stint at Grimsby, Stuart McCall brought him back to Valley Parade for a third spell 12 months ago.

Clarke added: “I know my body. If you’re signing me, you’re not going to get 40 games out of me – although I played 32 this season and that probably equals 40 with the intensity of playing Saturday, Tuesday all the time.

“I would have liked to have looked after myself better. But because the games were so relentless, I was always training whenever I was fit and there was no time to rest.

“My age is unfashionable and I get that. But I’d like to think they could have used the coaching side, my knowledge of the players and what it needs to be successful at this club.

“So yeah, I’m disappointed that something didn’t materialise in that aspect.

“Clubs would prefer to sign a 19 or 20-year-old on loan not knowing what they actually can do, rather than someone you know what you’ll get out of.

“That’s how the game is now and I get that. Hence why I’ve got my coaching head on and looking to offer something that a young lad couldn’t.”

Clarke’s biggest regret from the last season was not seeing any fans in Valley Parade from start to finish and the lack of any big-game atmosphere in the empty stadium.

“I didn’t like the games, to be honest,” he said. “It felt like you were playing pre-season all the time.

“Some people probably preferred it deep down without the pressure.

“They might be unbelievable in training, and I don’t specifically mean at Bradford but football in general, and then they are rubbish when it comes to a game.

“They can’t deal with the pressure of fans being there and the outside noise.

“But I genuinely love having a crowd there and the buzz you get from it.

“It was very strange and we didn’t do much training with having game after game.

“You go on a good run and then you can lose three in a week and it’s all doom and gloom again.

“If you’d said in December that we’d have a shot at getting in the play-offs with five games to go, you’ve have thought, ‘no chance’.

“But to get there and then let it fizzle out, I can’t put my finger on it.

“But the league table doesn’t lie. You finish where you deserve to be.

“Some lads played well for six weeks or two months. But I’d say that was it – nobody played consistently well.”