Former Doncaster Rovers skipper reveals impressive fitness regime as he seeks new club

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Try as they might, Scunthorpe United’s sprightly youngsters couldn’t beat 39-year-old Andy Butler in a race.

Fitness freak Butler challenged the teenagers to beat his personal best 5K time for the year, which stands at an impressive 17 minutes and 30 seconds, in exchange for two days off.

Despite having youth on their side, none of them could, proving once more that age is just a number.

If only some football managers felt that way.

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Andy Butler in action for Doncaster Rovers legends last weekend.Andy Butler in action for Doncaster Rovers legends last weekend.
Andy Butler in action for Doncaster Rovers legends last weekend.

"People see me as an old player now, so you don’t have as many people calling even though I played about 48 games last year at a great standard,” says Butler, who is a free agent after leaving Farsley Celtic of the National League North at the end of last season.

Former Doncaster Rovers captain Butler turns 40 in November, but retirement is not on his mind.

"I love keeping myself in shape, I pride myself on it,” he adds.

"I’ll keep playing as long as my body wants to play and as long as I have got a chance. I’m just waiting for that club.

"I had a good year last year helping Farsley to stay up.”

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Doncaster-born Butler is keeping himself fit during the off season with 10K runs – he completed his last one in 37:25 – and appearances in charity matches.

Although some may have reservations over his age, he says the phone has been ringing from interested clubs.

Staying in shape also helps him set the right example to the next generation in his role as Scunthorpe’s youth development phase coach.

"If the academy lads saw I was sloppy then they might go sloppy,” Butler warns.

"You have got to practice what you preach.”

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Discussing his role, which is guaranteed for another year despite the Iron’s relegation to regional football, Butler adds: “I’m coaching the under-12s to 16s and enjoying it.

"You see the development of players, which is good, and I’m learning things off the other coaches.”

What does he think of the changes at Doncaster and the return of his former Scunny teammates, Grant McCann and Cliff Byrne, whom he played under during their first spell in charge?

“Good appointment.

"The club needed a direction. They’ve got someone who’s been there and done it.

"No-one wants to see Doncaster languishing in League Two.”