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Last Updated: Friday, 27 April 2007, 05:43 GMT 06:43 UK
Northampton's good doctor

By Jonathan Stevenson

For many players, thinking about life after football can be scary and confusing.

But 26-year-old Northampton striker Kenny Deuchar has already mapped out his future after he hangs up his prolific boots.

Northampton's on-loan striker Kenny Deuchar
I was at Falkirk for four years, playing part-time and studying medicine full-time. I didn't see my friends much

Kenny Deuchar

"At the moment I'm concentrating on rheumatology, but I'll probably be a GP later on," the Scot told BBC Sport.

The 26-year-old, you see, is a qualified doctor. A fact possibly made more public than Deuchar could have ever imagined thanks to Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling.

"On his Soccer Saturday programme," continues Deuchar, "he always calls me the 'Good Doctor' when I score.

"I've met him twice and it was great, because to be fair he's done a lot for my career. There are so many people in England who have heard of me and that nickname has followed me around for ages now."

Deuchar has gone a long way to making a name for himself thanks to his goalscoring prowess, too.

He led the line for Gretna for three years and scored 66 goals in 82 starts, including a goal-a-game 41 in 2004-05 which included six hat-tricks, equalling Jimmy Greaves' British record of trebles in a season.

But the start of his career was not always so straightforward - in fact Deuchar almost did not make it as a footballer at all, let alone the household name he has become.

"When I was younger I was more of a basketball player, I just played a bit of rugby and football for fun," he said.

"When I started university to study medicine I was playing for a pub team, but by that October I'd signed for Falkirk.

"I was there four years in all, playing part-time while I studied full-time. It was hard, I didn't have much time to socialise with my friends and I broke my leg twice in one year as well.

"That was a really difficult time. I spent a lot of time in the gym but I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel because I'd never played a first-team game.

"It's hard to motivate yourself because you don't know what you're missing out on or what you're aiming for. But I'm glad I put the work in because it's paid off since."

So how did a man who had set the Scottish lower leagues on fire end up on loan at Northampton in February having spent the first half of the season on the sidelines?

While I was at Gretna I used to do a rheumatology clinic every Wednesday

Kenny Deuchar

"Basically I wasn't playing at Gretna," he explained. "All those goals weren't good enough, but I don't want to go into the ins and outs of what happened.

"I handed in a transfer request so I could get some games and I won't withdraw it, but I've got a year left on my contract and Gretna are holding all the cards.

"It's been fantastic to play football after three months not doing anything and I really feel like I'm wanted again.

"It's been a steep learning curve as League One is a better standard than the Scottish First Division where I was playing but it's a great experience and I'm really enjoying it.

"There has been a little talk of making the move permanent, but I think Gretna are holding out for some money so I don't know what is going to happen.

"It's a great place to play football, England. The crowds, the atmosphere and the set-up of the leagues has been like a breath of fresh air for me and I hope to continue my education while I'm here."

Quite a statement, from probably the most educated man plying his trade in the Football League already.

Deuchar kept his hand in medicine while he was with Gretna, but says now he must give football everything he has got to see just how far he can go.

"I'm not practicing medicine, I haven't done since I came to Northampton," said Deuchar.

"While I was at Gretna I used to do one day a week, usually Wednesday when I would do a rheumatology clinic, but I've put that on hold.

"It would have been more difficult to settle if I'd had to worry about the medicine as well and I owe it to myself to give football my best shot without any other distractions."

If he makes his move to Sixfields permanent and finds his Gretna scoring form, there might be a few League One managers needing a doctor next season.



SEE ALSO
Northampton sign Deuchar on loan
31 Jan 07 |  Northampton Town
Deuchar chases cup final prizes
11 May 06 |  Gretna


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