Blogs & Opinion


Shaun Derry, Kevin Davies and Guy Branston blog about life after the game

Football League Bloggers - Football League Bloggers Posted 26th September 2013 view comments

skysports.com is going to get inside the minds of the players this season..

As well as a weekly blog from Crystal Palace striker Kevin Phillips, we will also be speaking to three seasoned campaigners in the Football League.

On-loan Millwall midfielder Shaun Derry, Preston frontman Kevin Davies and Plymouth defender Guy Branston - who all appear on Sky Sports News Radio's Football League Hour - will be chatting to us about all manner of footballing issues.

This week we catch up with how our bloggers are getting on this season and ask them if they have any plans for what they want to do after football...

SHAUN DERRY

FOOTBALL LEAGUE HOUR

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For the Millwall team it has been fantastic. What's happened is after the 5-1 loss at home against Derby, the manager has made some big and brave decisions - he's taken a few people out, me included and even though I've come in on loan there is no divine right for me to play. He's made some big decisions and its working for him. We comprehensively beat Blackpool at home 3-1 and we're just going from strength to strength and it coincided with a local derby against Charlton. We really deserved that win as well.

Not only am I out of the starting XI which is disappointing, but I'm out of the 18-man squad, which is even sadder. I made a point when I was playing, saying: 'football is not just about 11 players, nor is it about 18 really; it's about the whole squad.' It's no good spitting your dummy out and being upset and not doing things properly because football turns very quickly. Whenever my chance comes again, I'll be ready to pull on that shirt and put in a performance.

I'm 35 now, I've been thinking about what I want to do after my playing career for a long time. It's not something I've thought about lightly. It's something when you get to the age of 31/32 you really need to take stock and take a look at what you've enjoyed over the past 15 years of being a professional footballer.

I know exactly what I want to do; I want to be a manager. I've had to take my coaching courses over the past three or four years. Gone are the days when you walk straight out of football and get a job just through luck.

I've been fortunate for the last 18 months that Crystal Palace, one of my old clubs, have been really good to me and invited me in to the academy set-up and I've been helping with the U15's and the U16's for the best part of 18 months now. It's been great, I've been learning from some great people along the way and I can take that in to being a manager of a side one day myself.

KEVIN DAVIES

A few of players had mentioned having defeats at Bramall Lane and being outplayed there before, but I wasn't aware it was nearly 35 years since Preston had won there!

It was a good result for us and there's a really good atmosphere at the club - I mean winning games helps and that's four in a row for us. It breeds confidence and we take that in to the training you come in with a smile on your face.

The standard in League One has improved. It has surprised me a little if I'm totally honest. I've been friends with people who have played down in these leagues and I've had reports back of it not being very pretty at times. But if you look at the likes of Leyton Orient and Swindon who I watched play against Chelsea on Tuesday night - they played some really good football. In the second half Swindon had more possession than Chelsea and were keeping the ball well, playing good football - there are lot of teams doing this and it's good to see.

I'm not sure what I want to do after my playing career. I signed for two years at Preston and I'm more than happy with that. I've played every minute of every game this season and I'm feeling pretty good. I'm not going to put a time limit on my career. I'll play these two years and see where that takes me. Hopefully after those two years the club will be in the Championship and doing well. If Preston were to offer me something and I was feeling great I'd sign it. I'm on my A-license and I'm doing a bit more media work so I am preparing for the life after football and that will all take care of itself. At the minute I'm just going to focus on playing football.

I played golf with Kevin Phillips in the summer and he's 40 now. I was with my wife and she said I have to play until I'm 40 as well. Now there's a bit of pressure!

GUY BRANSTON

We had a hard day of training at Plymouth on Monday and Tuesday. We were working on a lot of stuff we need to eradicate out of our game after two losses. But we're really positive and really together as a group. We've tried to make training light-hearted, but with a real positive attitude and hopefully we can achieve that when we run out on Saturday.

We don't know how to take bottom of the league Accrington. You're looking at a wounded animal, it could strike back at you, or it could lay down and die. We're at a bit of a quandary about certain things about the way they play, because I don't think they've struggled this year, they just haven't got a win. If we put our game plan in play on Saturday I think we'll come out on top.

I think a lot of players' struggle coming out of football and a lot of that is down to education. Through the years the lads do the same thing day-in, day-out and they're not really getting the fundamentals in place of what they need to help themselves after football. Whatever level you play at you're going to have to get a job unless you're in the big-boys' league.

It's one of them things where a lot of lads don't think they're going to have to work again. But why wouldn't you want to give something back to the football, give something back to society until you get old, because work makes you who you are as a person, but also gives you an identity.

The transition from football in to other things won't be that hard for me because I've got things set up. I've got two businesses - allaboutballerz.com - a website platform to showcase footballers' talents to a wider audience and to all the football contacts I've built up over the years. And my new business is GETNOTICEDAPP - an app that will showcase people to a wider audience.

Don't forget to tune in to tune in to the Football League Hour every Thursday night at 7pm on Sky Sports News Radio or download the podcast here

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