LIFE IN THE OLD DOG YET

The Non-League Football Paper - - NEWS - By Mark Car­ruthers

NEW­CAS­TLE BEN­FIELD striker Paul Brayson cel­e­brated his 40th birth­day in the only way he would have wanted.

The pro­lific front­man led the line for his side in their FA Cup Sec­ond Qual­i­fy­ing tie against Ash­ton United.

Brayson is a goalscor­ing phe­nom­e­non and has been through­out his ca­reer. From learn­ing from the likes of Cole, Fer­di­nand and Shearer in his acad­emy days at New­cas­tle United to ter­ror­is­ing Non-League de­fences with Blyth Spar­tans and North­wich Vic­to­ria.

He is show­ing no signs of eas­ing off, hav­ing scored over 120 goals in the last three sea­sons.

And as he reached his 40th year, Brayson sent a chill­ing warn­ing to North­ern League de­fend­ers to re­mind them that he is not fin­ished yet.

“I’m not think­ing of re­tir­ing from play­ing at the mo­ment,” said the striker.

“I’m en­joy­ing it, I feel fit. I am as pas­sion­ate about the game as I was when I was 16.

“We played Pen­rith and that’s our long­est jour­ney of the sea­son, but I couldn’t wait to play.

“I would stop if I wasn’t as pas­sion­ate, or if I thought I couldn’t run. But the goals are still go­ing in and I am lov­ing it at the mo­ment.”

Typ­i­cally, Brayson has started the sea­son well, scor­ing six goals in his open­ing ten games of the cam­paign.

He puts that down to a good pre-sea­son, al­though he in­sists there is no se­cret to the longevity and reg­u­lar­ity of his goalscor­ing an­tics.

“I keep fit and I have adapted my game.

“When I was younger, I was quick, but now I am quick in my head. I know when the chances are com­ing.

“I had a good pre-sea­son and it set me up nicely.”

Along with his striker du­ties, Brayson now works along­side for­mer Dar­ling­ton winger Mark Con­very as joint-man­ager at Ben­field, al­though he isn’t en­ter­tain­ing thoughts of a per­ma­nent move into the dugout yet.

“I am en­joy­ing that side of it, but I am fo­cus­ing on play­ing.” he said. “We have both worked at a good level as ex-pro­fes­sion­als, so we know what is re­quired, but Mark does the coach­ing. I’ll do more when I fin­ish.” Fin­ish­ing is what Paul Brayson does best, but you get the im­pres­sion there is a long way to go be­fore he is fin­ished on the pitch.

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