Doncaster Rovers: Improving at 38? Bring it on says James Coppinger
The suggestion of improving a player at the ripe old age of 38 may seem a little foolhardy but it is something James Coppinger is fully embracing.
Doncaster Rovers boss Darren Moore said last week that he is determined to help the influential Coppinger produce even better than the remarkable form he has shown in the later years of his career.
And the club captain himself has no issue with that whatsoever.
“One hundred per cent – I enjoy it," Coppinger told the Free Press.
“To be still playing at my age is something not many people are doing but to be contributing, starting, playing is something I something I relish.
“To be playing the way I’m playing is testament to the fact I do want to learn, I do want to not just sit there and be part of something.
“I want to be the best, I want to be out there and inspiring the young lads, pushing and raising the bar and all the rest of it.
“That is still within me and I enjoy it.”
While he may be set to turn 39 in January, Coppinger still possesses the element of surprise.
Take his goal against AFC Wimbledon last week when he was sent racing clear on goal and finished superbly despite the close attention of lightning quick full back Paul Osew.
“I got a text from my dad saying ‘I’m sure I've just seen you running in behind a couple of times!’” he said with a laugh.
“It’s testament to the way we looked at them and that was always
“Even in the first game against them I did it a couple of times and I should have scored.
“That threat was always on and it fell to me to do that.
"I’ve still got that and I genuinely have never been blessed with pace so I've not relied on it.
“I've always had the skill for if someone catches me up I can deal with it.
“The full back chasing me was pretty quick but I saw him coming.”