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

CRICKET: Henry Dearden shines as Cumnor cruise to victory

Oxford Mail: cricket generic

6:00am Saturday 4th July 2015

HENRY Dearden took 3-1 as Cumnor topped Group C of the Oxfordshire Under 11 competition with an emphatic 147-run victory at Wootton & Boars Hill.

WOMEN'S CRICKET: High-flying Oxford slip to first defeat

Oxford Mail: cricket generic

6:00am Saturday 4th July 2015

OXFORD were condemned to their first defeat of the season as they were beaten by 65 runs at Five Ways Old Edwardians.

Oxford United's 'home' pre-season friendly against Coventry City to be played at Nuneaton

Oxford Mail:

4:30pm Friday 3rd July 2015

Oxford United’s pre-season friendly against Coventry City will now take place at Nuneaton Town on Saturday 1st August (3pm).

FOOTBALL: Wantage Town and Didcot Town to clash in FA Cup

Oxford Mail: football generic

11:31am Friday 3rd July 2015

Local rivals Wantage Town and Didcot Town have been drawn together in this season’s Emirates FA Cup.

Ian Lenagan: Oxford United are in good hands a year after takeover

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 3rd July 2015

A YEAR on from stepping down as Oxford United chairman, Ian Lenagan is convinced he did the right thing in selling a controlling stake to Darryl Eales.

Departing Ryan Clarke humbled by goodwill messages from Oxford United fans

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 3rd July 2015

RYAN Clarke has paid tribute to Oxford United's supporters after his six-year stay at the club ended yesterday by mutual consent.

TENNIS: Connor makes big impression in Norway

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 3rd July 2015

CONNOR Ferguson lost in the quarterfinals of his first 14 & Under Tennis Europe event, held in Oslo.

GOLF: Par is just fine for Eddie Pepperell

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Friday 3rd July 2015

Eddie Pepperell dug in to begin his French Open campaign with a solid level par round.

RUGBY UNION: Darlington brothers make Chinnor switch

Oxford Mail: rugby generic

7:00am Friday 3rd July 2015

Chinnor have continued their summer recruitment drive with the signing of brothers Mark and Andrew Darlington from Dutch side RC ‘t Gooi.

CRICKET: Will Eason is rewarded with county debut as Oxfordshire eye victory

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Friday 3rd July 2015

WILL Eason will make his competitive Minor Counties debut for Oxfordshire against Wales this weekend.

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/