New St Patrick's Athletic signing Keith Fahey has expressed his relief at finding a new club after several months out of the game.
Following his release from Championship side Birmingham City last summer, Fahey struggled to find a new club. He spent time training with Sheffield United and Shamrock Rovers but persistent injuries impeded the completion of any deals.
The 30-year-old eventually opted to join St Pat's for the third time in his career, agreeing a one-year-deal with the Saints, and says that he is happy with the chance to play regularly again.
"I just need to be somewhere where I can play again, where I can feel good about myself," he told reporters.
"You do question yourself. After the hip operation [in May 2013], I was thinking, 'what's the story here, this isn't feeling great'. And it took a couple of months training with Sheffield United for me to regain confidence with regards to my fitness."
Nevertheless, Fahey insisted that he was not returning to Ireland to "settle" and refused to rule out a return to England, but stressed that the environment at Richmond Park suited him.
He said: "I'm not coming home to settle, but I'm not decided about my long-term future. I am just happy to have sorted myself out in the short-term. I needed a lift and signing for this club has given me that.
"I've had a hard time, paying for my own operations and stuff like that, but this place has something about it. It suits me."
Fahey also played down talk of an international call-up, indicating that he was concentrating on playing regularly for his new club first and foremost.
The midfielder has earned 16 caps for the Republic of Ireland, scoring three goals, and his most recent appearance came in the 6-1 home defeat against Germany in Dublin.
"International football is not something I am thinking about," Fahey added. "I know everyone else seems to be interested in me playing for Ireland again, but I'm only thinking about getting back on a park again. It has been a long time since I last did so."