Charlton Athletic midfielder Darren Pratley has given an update on his plans for the future as he approaches what for many would be the end of their careers.
But having signed a year’s contract extension back in August to keep him at the club until the summer of 2021, Pratley insists that he is not even thinking about retirement.
“It’s tough [but] I’ll play until the wheels come off,” he said in an interview with London News Online.
“I’m still probably one of the fittest [players] in the team, if not the fittest. I probably cover the most ground every game.
“From a selfish point of view, and a personal point of view, you want to play as many games as you can.
“Just because I’m 34, even when my contract runs out I’m not looking to retire. I’m looking to play for as long as I can.”
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Pratley made the move to The Valley in the summer of 2018 after being released by Bolton Wanderers, going on to make 31 League One appearances, including all three play-off matches, as they won promotion.
He is well on his way to beating that tally a season on, however, already amassing 25 second-tier appearances, with 21 games of the season still left to play.
However, his focus will almost certainly remain on steering his side clear of relegation trouble with a 2-1 loss to Preston North End on Saturday leaving them just five points above the drop zone.
I don’t think anyone who has seen Pratley play this season will be at all surprised that he is not even close to considering retirement.
He is playing more consistently now than he was in his previous two campaigns and is showing very few signs of slowing down any time soon.
Whether he continues at Charlton beyond his current deal or not remains to be seen, but it would not be at all surprising to see the 34-year-old carrying on for another four or five years.