Swansea's Leon Britton admits he almost retired last season
By Andy Charles
Last Updated: 12/08/17 9:43am
Swansea midfielder Leon Britton has revealed he contemplated retirement during the club's Premier League survival bid
Britton was unable to secure a first-team berth in the early months of Paul Clement's tenure at the Liberty Stadium.
But he stepped up in the closing weeks of the 2016-17 campaign and played an important role as they claimed 13 points from their last five games to retain their place in the top division.
The 34-year-old has passed the 500-game barrier with the Swans and, after his dark spell last season, has signed a new one-year contract with the option of a further 12 months.
"There have been times like that [thinking about retirement], I'm not going to lie," Britton said ahead of Saturday's Premier League opener at Southampton.
"There are times when you train hard, but if you're not playing on the weekend it's difficult.
"As much as I love training, there's no better buzz as a footballer than stepping out on the pitch and playing.
"I've got this year with the option of another year, depending on how many games I play. So if the worst-case scenario was I didn't hit the amount of games, then we'd have to see what happens at the end of the season.
"But I still feel fit, I still feel strong."
Whatever his playing future holds, Britton knows he will be staying in south Wales as his new contract contains a guarantee of a coaching role once he calls time on his career.
But Britton says his studies will have to be a slow burner as things stand, with his extended playing deal putting a hold on him starting his Pro Licence course.
"It will be easier for me to do that when I've finished [playing] and I'm coaching full-time," Britton added.
"I'm ready to go now and hopefully this year we won't have those [relegation] worries we've had in the last couple of seasons.
"In the last two years Paul has been our fourth manager. That's been unsettling and shows we've been under-performing as a squad and as a football club."