Former Queens Park Rangers midfielder and current Wycombe Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth has been speaking to the EFL podcast about his continuing playing career.
46-year-old Ainsworth had been playing for Bracknell Town & District Sunday League side Finchampstead Athletic and scored a terrific goal in his sides 3-1 Senior Cup Final win over FC Fernhill last season.
Now though, Ainsworth has taken a step back up the English Football Pyramid and is playing for Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One East side Woodley United when time allows – he has already played three times for the Kestrels and has scored two goals, both coming in the recent 4-3 defeat by Langley.
It is his full time job though as boss of League One side Wycombe Wanderers where Ainsworth’s main focus lies. He is the second longest serving manager in the English Football League including the Premier League having just celebrated seven years at Adams Park and is behind only Morecambe manager Jim Bentley and above third placed Eddie Howe, Sean Dyche in fourth and Mauricio Pochettino in fifth.
In a clip posted on social media, Ainsworth spoke about his continuing playing career.
He said: “I’ve got friends who I played Sunday League with who went to this club and they said ‘look, you’d be great just to come down and play, we know you’ve still got it’.
“For some reason I have still got my pace! I’m 46-years-old and I’m still as quick as I’ve ever been! Well maybe not as I’ve ever been but I’m still pretty quick and that always got me through my career so when that goes I’ll call it a day but I love the competition. I love just being, I think it’s being just a bit normal as well sometimes.
“Football, as I say is important and I love playing and I still get the buzz of turning out and putting the shirt on but I’m really happy in my job, my work life balance, it’s just been a great 7 years.
“I hope it continues, but you never know what’s around the corner but I don’t think I’ve got at football [playing] career anymore, I think I might have to look at something else.”
You can listen to the full interview with Gareth on YouTube: