FOOTBALL: Leven's ready to play again

9:30am Saturday 21st June 2014

By David Pritchard

Former Oxford United midfielder Peter Leven is determined to make a return to football next season, almost 18 months on from his last appearance.

An injury-hit finish to the Scot’s spell with the U’s, who released him at the end of the 2012-13 campaign, appeared to signal a premature end to his career.

But after taking time to fully recover from the knocks and assess his options, retirement is not on Leven’s agenda.

Time spent in the USA in February training with second tier side San Antonio Scorpions rekindled the 30-year-old’s de-sire to make a playing return.

He said: “I did double sessions every day for a week.

“I never used to do that back home and it gave me a sense of believing in myself again.”

Crucially, there has been no recurrence of the knee problems which hampered him in his time at United.

Leven, whose memorable strike from the centre circle against Port Vale in October 2011 was the highlight of his 67 games in two years with the club, admits his willingness to play through the pain did not help.

He said: “It was like ‘if you need me to play, I’ll play’, whereas some players would take three or four weeks out to get fully recovered – maybe that was my downfall.

“Don’t get me wrong, I still have to look after myself.

“I was told to retire at 17 and I’m 30 now. I have still got the same knee I had when I was 17, but I know how to manage myself.

“I’ve averaged 35 games a season over my career.”

Coaching appeals to the former Glasgow Rangers trainee, who already has his UEFA B Licence and will start the A Licence course shortly.

Ideally, he wants to find a player-coach role this summer and is prepared to drop into non-league.

A couple of Skrill Premier clubs have shown an interest, while there are also potential opportunities in the USA and Scotland.

Leven is doing everything he can – even joining Twitter (@peter_leven) – to avoid slipping out of the game for good.

“It’s been absolutely horrible, that’s why I want to be involved again, in any capacity,” he said.

“When you’re doing well everyone wants to talk, but when you’re thinking what’s out there people forget you and don't pick up the phone.

“Football is a tough world and you just need to get on with it and I want to keep going as long as I can.

“I just want to stay in the game, I don’t want to disappear out of the back door.

“I’ve got a lot to offer, on and off the pitch.”

Latest Sport news

Oxford United: Deadline day update

Oxford Mail:

12:10pm Monday 1st September 2014

MICHAEL Appleton says Oxford United are in advanced talks with their top target, but there are no guarantees a deal will be finalised before the deadline closes tonight.

Oxford United fans' discussion

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

12:00pm Monday 1st September 2014

Have your say on all the main talking points at Oxford United in our 60-minute interactive discussion for supporters.

VIDEO: Highlights from Oxford United's draw with Dagenham

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

11:24am Monday 1st September 2014

Oxford United got off the mark in Sky Bet League Two with a 3-3 draw at home to Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.

Dagenham draw leaves Oxford United boss with mixed emotions

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 1st September 2014

MICHAEL Appleton admitted he had never seen a game so wide open as Oxford United got off the mark with a topsy-turvy 3-3 draw at home to Dagenham & Redbridge.

FOOTBALL: Merritt upbeat despite defeat

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Monday 1st September 2014

OXFORD City general manager Justin Merritt said he was proud of his players despite defeat at Harrogate Town on Saturday.

FOOTBALL: Strafford dismissal key as Banbury lose again

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Monday 1st September 2014

BANBURY United let slip a 2-0 lead as they fell to a seventh straight league defeat this season with a 4-2 loss at Frome Town in the Southern League Premier Division.

FOOTBALL: Margetts strike condemns City to first defeat of season

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Monday 1st September 2014

JONATHAN Margetts’ 55th-minute strike inflicted a first defeat of the season on Oxford City in their Vanarama Conference North clash at Harrogate Town on Saturday, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

FOOTBALL: Thame through after sensational comeback

Oxford Mail: football generic

8:30am Monday 1st September 2014

THAME United produced a sensational comeback to beat Highmoor Ibis 3-2 with the final kick of their FA Cup preliminary round tie on Saturday.

ROWING: Oxfordshire oarsmen star in Great Britain gold rush

Oxford Mail:

8:20am Monday 1st September 2014

GREAT Britain’s men’s eight successfully defended their title with a stunning display in Amsterdam yesterday.

Two-goal Hylton feels right at home

Oxford Mail:

8:10am Monday 1st September 2014

DANNY Hylton says the warm welcome he has received at Oxford United has been key to his flying start to the season.

Back

© Copyright 2001-2014 Newsquest Media Group

Oxford Mail: site_logo http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk

Click 2 Find Business Directory http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/trade_directory/