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Archived News from June 2005

28th June 2005 19:24

Evening Post, 28 June 2005

Forest legend Des Walker is to start pre-season training with Mansfield Town.

Walker, who will be 40 in November, will be put through his paces by former Sheffield Wednesday team-mate Carlton Palmer.

The Reds favourite, who enjoyed a testimonial at the City Ground at the end of last season, said he was looking forward to having the opportunity to impress.

He said: "First and foremost, I have been doing my coaching badges but playing is the best part of football.

"I still think I can run around but I don't know if I will come back on a full-time basis.

"It's nice to be able to run with other people and get the banter with the lads and I am looking forward to it."

Palmer, who has vowed to play himself this season, said he will make a decision nearer the start of the season whether Walker will come into his plans.

He said: "Teddy Sheringham is still playing and so are Colin Cooper and Paul Ince and I am confident there will not be a problem with Des either."

Walker has been offered the chance to extend his career with non-league Ilkeston Town.

Former England star trains with Stags
CHAD website, 27 June 2005
FORMER England defender Des Walker could make his playing swansong at Mansfield Town this season.
The former Forest, Sheffield Wednesday and Sampdoria defender, who enjoyed a testimonial at Forest at the end of the season, is to train at Field Mill and take part in pre-season friendlies before deciding whether or not to hang up his boots.
The 39-year-old, capped 59 times by his country, will begin training with Stags today and player-manager Carlton Palmer said: "We have agreed Des will come here for pre-season training and see how he feels.
"He has had a great career and won't let himself down.
"If he doesn't feel he can do it he will leave it at that.
"He and I will make a decision closer to the start of the season."

Des Walker says he may continue playing after joining League Two club Mansfield Town for pre-season training.

The England centre back, who turns 40 in November, is out of contract after ending his second spell with Nottingham Forest.

The former Sampdoria and Sheffield Wednesday man was linked with a move into coaching and Stuart Pearce's backroom staff at Manchester City.

Despite working on his coaching badges at present, Walker has confirmed his intention to play in some capacity next season and was happy The Stags handed him the chance to train with them.

"First and foremost, playing for me is the best part of football," Walker told Sky Sports News.

"I've done a bit of coaching, but I think every manager or coach will tell you that playing were their best years (in the game).

"For me, I still think I can run around and I think I can play football at some level.

"I'm not sure if I'll play full-time, but I want to get myself fit and the best way to do it is by full-time training.

"You can only play the game by being as fit as you can, so you can't get away from pre-season.

"No one really likes it, least of all me, but you've got to do it.

"It's nice to run with other people than run on your own.

"One of the best things about football is the changing room and the banter with the lads and the camaraderie.

"I'm looking forward to all of it."

Mansfield boss Carlton Palmer believes Walker still has something to give as a player, despite his veteran age of 39.

"There's not an argument about that," said Palmer.

"I think Teddy Sheringham has proven it, Colin Cooper has proven it and Paul Ince has proven it.

"If you've got the ability, you might lose a little bit in the legs, but I assure you that Des Walker hasn't lost anything in his legs."


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