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Aaron Wilbraham thanks Crystal Palace fans for the special memories

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AARON WILBRAHAM has hailed the Palace fans as "the best I've played for" after his release from the club.

The veteran forward departed Selhurst Park alongside the likes of Jonathan Parr, Dean Moxey and Neil Alexander at the end of May, but he has thanked the Eagles faithful for sticking by him despite only scoring twice in 33 appearances.

Wilbraham may not have been the most prolific striker, but his work rate in attack, especially on his own, could not be questioned during his two seasons in SE25.

Indeed, Wilbraham's performance in the Championship play-off semi-final against Brighton and then against Watford in the final a year ago is probably what Palace fans will remember him the most for.

"The Palace fans are the best fans I've played for, definitely," he said.

"The home support, especially, was great. Usually when you go to away grounds, the first thing you say in the dressing room is 'we'll quieten the crowd down'.

"But there is no doing that at Selhurst Park, and I think that's the best thing, really. The fans just sing from start to finish and I think that does shock the opposition when they turn up.

"It gets the Palace lads up for it, and I'm not just saying it because a lot of players just say, 'oh, the fans are brilliant', but I actually mean that.

"The way the fans are at Selhurst, and the ones in that corner of the Holmesdale, they are unbelievable.

"I've got loads of friends at the club so I'll definitely be keeping in touch with them and looking out for the results every week.

"Palace will be the first one I look for, definitely."

Meanwhile, Wilbraham insists he isn't "worried" about being a free agent and is currently interesting a number of Championship and League One sides after a season in the top tier and second tier of English football with the Eagles.

But he isn't going to rush a decision and says he has a few options on the table.

"I would like to get it sorted as soon as possible so you're settled and know where you're going to be, but I have been lucky to not be in this position before so I am quite relaxed about it," said Wilbraham.

"I have known players who have been every year, getting year deals and being out of contract.

"I am not too worried about it, I'm just going to weigh up my options."

Recalling his time at the club, Wilbraham says the "team spirit and character" was a big advantage for him, comparing it with the previous squads he has been a part of throughout his career.

And in those play-off games for Palace last year in May, Wilbraham thrived on the opportunity given to him and hopes the Eagles fans know he gave it his best shot whenever called upon in his two years.

"When I joined Palace, Dougie Freedman was trying to assemble a good group to take the team forward," he said.

"I think I said when I signed on that the previous three promotions I'd had, it had not necessarily been the most talented group of lads, but a great team spirit and character.

"That's what got me through it with MK Dons, Hull City and Norwich City. I think the same kind of thing happened with Palace.

"That is what got us through those play-offs and the season.

"The play-off games where I got more involved, it gave me a chance to show the fans I had been keeping myself ticking over and keeping myself fit when Glenn Murray was scoring all those goals.

"It gave me a chance to come in and play up top on my own, and even this season when I was used by Ian Holloway and Tony Pulis in the Premier League, I always gave it my all."

Aaron Wilbraham thanks Crystal Palace fans for the special memories


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