Why age is just a number for 38-year-old Doncaster Rovers defender Richard Wood

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Richard Wood celebrated his 38th birthday last week – but the big defender is out to prove age is just a number.

Wood towers over most of his teammates at 6ft 3ins and has no issues keeping up with them in training.

“I always try and keep fit, but I want to always prove myself,” says the former Rotherham man.

"I don’t want my age to be a factor.

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New Doncaster Rovers signing Richard Wood.New Doncaster Rovers signing Richard Wood.
New Doncaster Rovers signing Richard Wood.

"I use it to my advantage sometimes because I am a fit lad. If I’m keeping up with everybody, or in front of some young lads, I’ll be like ‘what are you doing? Come on, you should be fitter than me’.

"I’m hoping that drives standards. I do a lot of work in the off-season, I don’t let my standards drop and I suppose that’s why I’m still playing.

"Recovery is the main thing for me. I can keep up with everybody, but it’s the recovery time. It probably takes a bit longer than it would for a 20-year-old.”

Wood says he would “100 per cent” be willing to put his body on the line and play 40 to 50 games for Doncaster next season.

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He made 30 appearances for the Millers last term despite falling out of favour with their boss Matt Taylor in the second half of the campaign.

But he did manage to win back his place in the starting XI for the final six games as he captained the team to Championship safety.

“If you ask me I’ll be saying ‘yes, of course’, says Wood, “but I have no doubt my levels probably would drop.

"I wouldn’t be 100 per cent fit, 100 per cent raring to go, on the Saturday after the third game.

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"But if I can manage myself and get through it, I’d be more than willing to do it.

"At the end of the day the manager picks the team, it’s his choice. If he asked me, I’d be available for every game and looking forward to it.

"I would rather it be like that and not train as much. I want to play every game.

"I think I can bring a lot to this team, but obviously I have got to perform in training and in pre-season games and earn my right to play.”