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

Who was Oxford United's man of the match against Dagenham?

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:46pm Saturday 30th August 2014

Oxford Utd 3 (Jakubiak 3, Hylton 55 & pen 61) Dagenham & Redbridge 3 (Hemmings 7, Cureton 46, Ogogo 71)

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:00pm Saturday 30th August 2014

A BREATHLESS game saw Oxford United get off the mark in Sky Bet League Two as they shared six goals with visitors Dagenham & Redbridge.

Oxford Utd v Dag & Red - updates

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

1:57pm Saturday 30th August 2014

All the latest news as Oxford United look to get off the mark in Sky Bet League Two, at home to Dagenham & Redbridge.

Mullins believes cup will lift U's

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 30th August 2014

Johnny Mullins is confident Oxford United’s midweek cup exertions will be a help rather than a hindrance in the search for their first points of the season today.

United boss Appleton issues Cureton warning

Oxford Mail: MICHAEL APPLETON

8:30am Saturday 30th August 2014

Michael Appleton has warned Oxford United to be on their guard against veteran goalscorer Jamie Cureton this afternoon.

RACING: Pendo pounces for Cole

8:00am Saturday 30th August 2014

Pendo got off the mark for Paul Cole’s Whatcombe stables, near Wantage, with victory in a lady amateur riders’ handicap at Salisbury yesterday under Alice Mills.

FEATURE: Didcot duo seek to build on the highs of Glasgow

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 30th August 2014

DAN Rivers and Ben Watson hope their Commonwealth Games success will be the shape of things to come.

CRICKET: Oxfordshire reach final in nerve-jangling finish

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 30th August 2014

ROYAL LONDON UNDER 17 B DIVISION COUNTY CUP

MOTORSPORT: Smith's happy man as he finishes fourth in practice

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Saturday 30th August 2014

OXFORDSHIRE'S Bradley Smith said he felt confident after powering to fourth in the combined standings following yesterday’s practice at a windy Silverstone.

MOTORSPORT: Polden closing in on second spot

Oxford Mail: Georgina Polden with her trophy on the podium

7:00am Saturday 30th August 2014

DUNLOP APRILIA SUPERTEEN CHALLENGE

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/