We put together our top team of Football League veterans
WYCOMBE’S decision to put 46-year-old goalkeeping coach Barry Richardson on the bench for yesterday’s big FA Cup tie against Aston Villa got us thinking about the Football League’s golden oldies.
So, we decided to come up with a Football League team of over30s that could give a much younger side a good run for their money. OK, their legs might not have the pace of old and they might find it tough to complete the full 90 minutes, but they could use their experience, their nous to good effect.
Who would manage this ‘Golden Oldies XI’? Well, it has to be Dagenham & Redbridge manager John Still. The 65year-old may be old enough for his bus pass, but we reckon he’s still got plenty left in the tank.
And the following team wouldn’t need many instructions.
Any decent team needs a good goalkeeper so we’re going for Notts County’s Northern Ireland international Roy Carroll (38) between the sticks.
In front of him, we’ve selected a back four of Derby’s Chris Baird (33) at right-back, Charlton’s Roger Johnson (32) and QPR’s Clint Hill (37) in the centre of defence, and Birmingham’s Paul Robinson (37) at left-back.
We reckon that defence would get stuck in and give a few forwards plenty to think about.
What about the midfield? Let’s put new Bristol Rovers signing Liam Lawrence (34) on the right and Coventry City’s now-permanent Joe Cole (34) on the left. In the centre, we’re going for a combination of the tireless Scott Parker (35) of Fulham and Burnley’s outspoken Joey Barton (33).
That should give us the bite you need in the centre of the park and the creativity, too.
Up front, ex-England and cur- rent Bolton striker Emile Heskey, who turns 38 tomorrow, was a dead cert, while who better than former Republic of Ireland and now Exeter marksman Clinton Morrison (36) to partner him?
With our team of seniors get- ting on a bit, the bench will be vital to keep the team ticking over in the closing stages.We’re going for QPR left-back Paul Konchesky (34), Notts County midfielder Alan Smith (35), Exeter midfielder Matt Oakley (38), Bolton forward Shola Ameobi (34) and Dagenham & Redbridge striker Jamie Cureton (40). Our 16-man squad may have passed their prime, but we reckon they could still cause a shock or two...