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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 October, 2003, 10:21 GMT 11:21 UK
Collymore ready to return
Exclusive by John May

Former Liverpool and Forest striker Stan Collymore
Stan Collymore is waiting for the right offer to seal his return to football.

The former England striker will consider a playing comeback to domestic football two years after announcing his retirement.

Collymore quit the game following a short, unhappy spell at Spanish club Oviedo.

He told the BBC Sport website: "The fact that clubs have shown an interest has whetted my appetite."

The mercurial striker has carved out a career as a pundit for BBC Radio Five Live.

Collymore's retirement announcement prompted Oviedo to pursue a breach of contract claim through local courts instead of through Fifa.

Collymore was able to retain his own registration, and with no Fifa action against him, he has held a standard-issue temporary permission to play since his return to the UK.

I wouldn't even consider it if I didn't think I could make an impact
Stan Collymore

The six-month temporary clearance becomes permanent in January 2004, when Collymore could be ready to dust off his boots.

"When I said I was retiring that was the intention, but with the caveat that if somewhere in the future an opportunity came along, I would consider it," said Collymore.

"But it would have to be the right offer for both parties."

"It's not a question of finance or money, but purely for football reasons.

"I have missed the playing side. Football has been part of my life since I was eight years old.

"But one of the reasons I have been happy to stay out as long as I have is the peripheral side, the demands on players from outside football and the scrutiny they come under.

"I miss the playing side, but I don't miss all the other stuff."

Stafford Rangers
Crystal Palace
Nottm Forest
Aston Villa
Bradford City
Real Oviedo

Collymore's record of 113 league and cup goals in 223 appearances for nine clubs is impressive, and he believes he still has an eye for goal.

"Without a doubt I have confidence in my ability.

"I wouldn't even consider it if I didn't think I could make an impact.

"I've still got a few miles left on the clock and the interest has come because people feel I can do a job."

Collymore also feels it would not take long to regain his fitness.

"I would need the equivalent of a full pre-season, which could be four or five weeks conditioning work.

"But beyond that, I would need nothing particularly special.

"Apart from a broken leg when I was at Leicester, I have been fairly lucky with injuries.

"I haven't had any problems with the usual curse of players, knees, ankles and hips."

Former England international Stan Collymore
"I want to return to a club who are very ambitious and going places"

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