Derby County midfielder Chris Baird has insisted that he is not thinking about retirement despite bringing his international career to an end last summer, reports The Derby Telegraph.
The 35-year-old has been at the iPro Stadium since 2015 after short stints at West Brom, Burnley, and Reading, and has since gone on to feature 53 times for the Rams, of which 37 came last season.
In fact, the former Northern Ireland international only missed two of Derby’s final 30 league games of the campaign, which underlines his importance to the side, and indeed the high esteem new boss Gary Rowett holds him in.
And, unsurprisingly, Baird’s contract option of a further 12 months at the club was triggered by the East Midlands side, and despite calling time on his international career recently, he has no plans to do that at club level.
He said: ‘I was delighted just to get the year here, so I’ve not thought about what happens after that.
‘At my age now, I think I’ll just take it year by year, so we’ll see what happens. If I do similar to what I
did last season and look after myself well, I don’t see why I can’t keep going on.
‘I’m not finishing yet! Touch wood, I want to play on as long as I can.’
These comments are sure to interest Derby fans, who saw Baird play a key role in their side’s run to ninth place in the Championship last term.
But with new chief Rowett having a full pre-season and transfer window to follow this summer, expectations will be high that the 43-year-old can inspire a promotion push next season, and given he appeared often under the former Birmingham and Burton boss, Baird looks set to be a key part of Rowett’s plans at the iPro Stadium.
Derby fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!