Phillips still has passion for game

23 July 2013 09:16

Kevin Phillips says a deep-rooted love of football and a lot of hard work has allowed him to play Premier League football into his forties.

After representing England and winning a European Golden Boot during an impressive career, many would have called it quits year ago.

Not Phillips. Rejected by Southampton as a teenager, he played non-league football before making it into the professional game with Watford.

Now, nearly two decades on, he is preparing for another crack at the top flight after penning a one-year deal with Crystal Palace.

The deal means Phillips will become just the third outfield player after Gordon Strachan and Teddy Sheringham to play into his forties, with the big day coming this Thursday.

"I think it is just enthusiasm," he said. "Maybe coming into the game a little bit later helped.

"I didn't really start until I was nearly 21 so maybe I've got an extra two or three years in me.

"I just love the game of football, I enjoy playing it and for me it doesn't get any easier. It gets harder but I enjoy the hard work, I enjoy the competition of trying to keep as fit as these young boys.

"I am trying to keep myself up there in the running groups, at the top with the boys.

"I am up there with only two that have done it before and Giggsy will be there this year, so I am absolutely delighted.

Source: PA