Lawrie Dudfield: It’s the right decision at the right time

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After leaving Corby Town on the eve of the season, which I can’t really say too much about for legal reasons, I found myself staring at the prospect of life after football. To be honest though, it wasn’t a difficult to decision to make, as soon as things went the way the did I knew straight away it was the right time to retire and look at something else.

I’ve played the last 12 seasons as a professional footballer, I have been very fortunate to do something millions of people have only been able to dream about. I’ve played in the Premier League, I’ve played abroad – I’ve experienced football at all levels and I have memories that no-one can ever take away from me but in reflection, I’ve probably known for the last couple of seasons I wasn’t enjoying football as much as I knew I should have been.

I realised my future was going to be away from playing football sooner rather than later. I could have played on for maybe another five seasons but perhaps not at a level that would really tested me and therefore where would the challenge and the enjoyment be in that? I have had offers to play professionally again and return to at least the Conference level but I have a young family and my future security was important; to carry on playing wasn’t a route I was prepared to take.

Just over a year ago now I started to look at getting into coaching, I’ve been working towards my badges over that time and that is the path I have decided to take; it’s the one that offers me the most satisfaction. With a bit more time on my hands now that I’m not training or playing it also gives me the opportunity to look at the sorts of business ventures I’ve never been able to seriously entertain.

When I’m not coaching I’m very busy at the moment setting up a new venture with a friend, it’s something we’ve been looking to do for a few years now but neither of us have been able to commit to it. It will be a challenge, I’m not expecting it to be easy but I want to get my teeth in to. I’d like to think anyone I’ve ever played with over the last decade will have appreciated by team work and dedication and know it is time for me to apply those skills to my new career. I’ll keep you posted with how I’m getting on.

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