LIFE IN THE OLD DOG YET
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.