Alexan­der has proved he was worth ev­ery penny

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOOD WEEKEND -

BURN­LEY chair­man Barry Kilby was per­plexed when he was asked to pay £200,000 for a 36-year-old right back who was strug­gling to get out of Pre­ston’s re­serves.

One hun­dred games later, the trans­fer of Gra­ham Alexan­der rep­re­sents one of the best deals in the club’s his­tory. Now 38, he marked his 900th ca­reer game with two goals on Satur­day to clinch a 2-0 win over Hull.

In a cli­mate of foot­ball party an­i­mals and con­victs, the Coven­try-born Scot­land in­ter­na­tional con­tin­ues to be a wel­come bea­con of re­spectabil­ity but re­mains shy of his achieve­ment.

“I’m just happy to be play­ing ev­ery week,” he said. “I work hard to stay in the team and hope­fully I’ll do enough for the man­ager to pick me. That’s all I’m both­ered about. You’ve got to en­joy foot­ball, no mat­ter what it throws at you and scor­ing goals is one of the most plea­sur­able things.

“There is no bet­ter place to play your foot- ball than the Premier League. Ev­ery one of us has worked hard for it and we de­serve our shot at it.”

A rou­tine of proper diet, good sleep and the oblig­a­tory ice bath have helped Alexan­der en­dure. He has also ben­e­fited from his con­ver­sion to de­fen­sive mid­field – a move sug­gested by Burn­ley’s for­mer man­ager, Steve Cot­ter­ill.

“He was taken aback when I first told him where I wanted him to play,” said Cot­ter­ill. “But I knew his read­ing of the game would help us and, let’s be hon­est, play­ing full back at 36 ex­poses you to too many flighty wingers.

“I re­mem­ber he came off with cramp af­ter 70 min­utes of his de­but against Colch­ester and he was em­bar­rassed. But I had ev­ery con­fi­dence in him. He’s a fan­tas­tic guy who looks af­ter him­self and com­mands re­spect from the rest of the play­ers.” – Daily Mail

Gra­ham Alexan­der

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