Lawrence eyes long Gills career

10 March 2011 02:25
Veteran Gillingham defender Matt Lawrence is hoping to extend his career for at least another year or two.The 36-year-old made his 600th league appearance at the end of February. [LNB]"It was almost alien for people to be playing into their 30s a few years back but now we look after ourselves better," Lawrence told BBC Radio Kent. [LNB]"It may take me a bit longer to recover from games now, but I take extra measures to counter that, more ice baths and stretching for longer." [LNB][LNB] I've still got a few more years left in me Gilllingham defender Matt Lawrence Lawrence signed a one-year contract with Gillingham over the summer after being released by Championship side Crystal Palace. He has been a mainstay in the Gills defence in their League Two campaign and was named Player of the Month at Priestfield in February. [LNB]"I look at the likes of David Weir and Graham Alexander who are playing at a much higher level than me and still doing the business [for Rangers and Burnley respectively] and I think 'I've still got a few more years'," said Lawrence.[LNB] [LNB][LNB] The defender, who started more than 200 games for Millwall after a move from Wycombe in 2000, didn't play league football until he was 21. [LNB]He continued: "I don't count every match, but I was aware when I reached five hundred and then approached six hundred games." [LNB]"It's quite an achievement, especially as I started quite late and I've averaged 40 games for fifteen seasons, but I'm also aware it has a lot to do with luck with injuries." [LNB]"But when I read that (Reading defender) Chris Armstrong has just retired at 28 because of multiple sclerosis, and of Dean Richards dying at 36, I'm just happy to be healthy enough to live my life."

Source: BBC_Sport