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

Ex-Oxford United defender Tom Newey signed again by Chris Wilder

Oxford Mail: Pictures from the U's 3-0 lose at Chesterfield

3:21pm Tuesday 27th January 2015

TOM Newey has signed a contract at Northampton Town until the end of the season, 24 hours after leaving Oxford United.

Joe Skarz swayed by Oxford United's potential

Oxford Mail:

11:10am Tuesday 27th January 2015

JOE Skarz admitted it took plenty of thought to drop two divisions and join Oxford United, but was swayed by the club’s potential.

Oxford United chief executive: Tyrone Barnett bid sends out right signal

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Tuesday 27th January 2015

OXFORD United’s bid for Tyrone Barnett shows their commitment to strengthening the squad as the January transfer window enters its final week, according to chief executive Mark Ashton.

RUGBY UNION: No 8 Messum is Oxford University's new captain

Oxford Mail:

10:56am Tuesday 27th January 2015

Former England Students skipper George Messum was last night elected Oxford University's new captain.

RUGBY UNION: Grove in power-packed triumph

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 27th January 2015

Forward power proved the difference as Grove beat Banbury 27-9 in the first round of the Oxfordshire Cup.

RUGBY UNION: Callum Percival's the hero for Abingdon with a hat-trick

Oxford Mail: rugby generic

8:00am Tuesday 27th January 2015

Centre Callum Percival scored a hat-trick of tries as Abingdon won 33-10 at Slough in the Southern Counties Senior Vase semi-final.

RUGBY UNION: Battling Henley dig deep to get show back on the road

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 27th January 2015

Henley Hawks fought back to post their first away victory in four matches by beating Cambridge 32-27 to march on at the top of National 2 South.

GOLF: Pepperell climbs to career-best world ranking

Oxford Mail: Eddie Pepperell

7:30am Tuesday 27th January 2015

EDDIE Pepperell’s strong beginning to the season has seen him rocket to the highest world ranking of his career.

GOLF: North Oxford's captains present bumper charity cheque

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Tuesday 27th January 2015

NORTH Oxford’s outgoing captains have handed over a big cheque to their chosen charity.

HOCKEY: Smith's hat-trick keeps Bicester in promotion hunt

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Tuesday 27th January 2015

LUKE Smith scored a hat-trick as Bicester trounced visiting Wycombe 2nd 6-1 to maintain their promotion bid in South League Middlesex Berks, Bu-cks & Oxon Division 1 on Saturday.

Back

© Copyright 2001-2015 Newsquest Media Group

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

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