BURY’S newest recruit Carl Regan is testament to the tough times footballers are enduring in the current economic climate.

The 32-year-old former Everton trainee, who has more than 300 league appearances to his name, became the latest player to sign non-contract terms at Gigg Lane last Friday.

Despite impressing in a one-week trial with the Shakers – Regan’s 10th club in a 15-year career – he is effectively playing for free as he bids to earn a permanent deal with Bury.

“It’s difficult out there. I think football every year is getting more and more difficult,” said Regan.

“More and more players are getting released so it’s harder to get clubs, while clubs are cutting budgets.

“So you’ve got to make sure that, when you come into a club you work your hardest and obviously try to earn something for next year as well.”

A broken toe put paid to Regan’s contract at his last club, Notts County, where he was released after making 14 appearances this season.

He last featured for County at Yeovil at the start of December, but has attempted to keep himself fit since then in the hope that someone would throw him a lifeline.

Now he is at Bury, the Liverpudlian is determined to seize the opportunity.

“Obviously I’ve only signed until the end of the season, but I’m here to earn myself a contract for next season,” he said.

“First and foremost, I just want to help keep Bury in the league. That’s foremost in everyone’s mind. But at the end of the season, if we’re still in this league, then we can think about contracts and where we are going.”