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Last Updated: Monday, 15 November, 2004, 16:43 GMT
Redfearn just keeps rolling along
By Pete Oliver

Scarborough player-coach Neil Redfearn
Still a familiar sight - Neil Redfearn celebrates scoring a goal
After playing in 933 league and cup games during a 22-year-career, you might think one more match would not make a difference.

But for Scarborough player-coach Neil Redfearn, missing out on his 55th FA Cup appearance last weekend was not a pleasant experience.

"We had a bad result against Lancaster in the last round and it wasn't very nice not being involved on Saturday," said Redfearn, still going strong at the age of 39.

Redfearn's passion for the game means he is not still only playing, but is a key figure in Scarborough's quest to regain their Football League status.

The much-travelled midfielder has so far played every single minute of Boro's Nationwide Conference games this season, and his nine goals make him the league's joint second leading scorer.

His decision to play on when his League career wound up - for now at least - at Rochdale in May is therefore proving a wise one.

You can't do some of the things you could do when you were 25, but you can put your football brain into gear and think better
Neil Redfearn

"I was still feeling strong and I have been lucky not to have had any serious injuries," Redfearn told BBC Sport.

"I have kept myself fit and I love playing. The enthusiasm is still there and as an attacking midfield player I am capable of getting goals. And people who score goals will always be in demand.

"When I contacted Scarborough at the start of the season I listened to what they had to say and they seemed really ambitious.

"I had no problem dropping down a level and I have enjoyed the football. And there really isn't that much difference between this and the League."

With Scarborough assembling a new management team in the summer, Redfearn was appointed as Nicky Hendry's number-two.

Scarborough player-coach Neil Redfearn
There were goals in the Premiership as well for Barnsley

And having played for 13 clubs, including spells in the Premiership with Barnsley and Charlton and a stint as caretaker-boss at Halifax, Redfearn has plenty to offer.

"There was a basis of a good side there already, with some exciting young players coming through. It was important to bring the right sort of experience," he added.

Redfearn has that in spades and nowhere has it been felt more that out on the pitch, where he has been leading by example.

"You can't do some of the things you could do when you were 25, but the ability is still there and you can put your football brain into gear and think better," he said.

One thing that hasn't changed is Redfearn's goal-scoring philosophy. The theory that more shots equals more goals has brought the Yorkshireman 190 in his career to date.

His latest purple patch has lifted the Seasiders to within a point of a play-off position and he is looking to sustain the promotion challenge.

At my age you have to take each year as it comes
Neil Redfearn

Redfearn added: "We have worked really hard to get ourselves there and the lads are determined to stay there.

"We have been consistent and we have got to continue that. We could have done with turning one or two of our home draws into wins.

"But we are unbeaten at home in the league and have won four away. If we continue along those sort of lines that's promotion form. We've got as good a chance as anybody."

So if the Seasiders can end a six-year stay in the Conference next spring, what chance a League return for Redfearn at the age of 40 ?

"I am enjoying what I am doing at the moment and I think if you don't look too far ahead you have a better chance of succeeding," he added.

"At my age you have to take each year as it comes. But I am feeling strong and if I steer clear of injuries there's no reason why I shouldn't play next season."




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