VIDEO: Captain Coulson keen to finish his career at Scarborough Athletic
Captain Michael Coulson admits he wants to stay with Scarborough Athletic for the remainder of his career.
Players and clubs at non league levels find themselves in a strange situation with Covid-19 clauses likely to mean the majority of players, Coulson included, out of contract in the very near future.
Boro only have two players, Kieran Glynn and Will Thornton, contracted to the club for the 2021/22 campaign, but Coulson is keen to add himself to that list.
“I said when I first came back to Scarborough I thought the time was right for me to come home for the family and a few reasons, even though I knew I could’ve still played a higher level at the time,” said Coulson.
“Obviously I hit the ground running and had a good couple of seasons and I had the opportunity to go back into the higher levels, but I think once my mind was made up that was it and I’m so happy I decided to stay as I’ve really, really enjoyed it.
“I’m so proud to be skipper and it means a lot to me. I know I might not be the most active on social media but deep down it does mean a lot to me and I can’t see myself anywhere else now.
“I’m want to stay, I’m desperate to stay.
“The club has to protect itself and can’t be throwing deals round to everyone if things are up in the air behind the scenes.
“If things are right with the club then I’d love to (sign a new contract) but you have to put the club first in these situations.
“Although it’s difficult for us players as we’d all love to be tied down and have contracts, but I think we are all aware in these strange times that things are going to be a little bit different.
“There’ll certainly be no rushing around from me trying to sign with someone else, put it that way.”
That news alone will be music to the ears of Boro fans, but they’ll be even more pleased to hear that the former York City, Barnsley, Grimsby Town and St Johnstone forward isn’t contemplating hanging up his boots any time soon.
Coulson insists he feels fitter than ever at the age of 32 after falling in love with running during the national lockdowns and wants to carry on playing as long as possible.
“I never really enjoyed running before the first lockdown - that is when I got into it in a big way,” added the Boro skipper.
“I was setting myself different targets and increasing the speeds and distance and really enjoyed it.
“I think when we’re stuck in our houses it gets you out and gives you that sense of pride and achievement that has been missing without having football.
“My body feels great and I think I have got another four or five years in me.
“I’d say I am the fittest I have ever been in my life and at the age of 32 which is incredible really.
“I’ve had one injury in my four years at Boro which is promising, and I turned a one-week injury into a five-week injury as I tried to play on.
“I’m just relieved and pleased that I was able to get back to play those final two games before the season was stopped.”
After this playing days are up and he’s forced to hang his boots up, Coulson admits he’s had a huge change of heart and would now like to stay in the game as long as possible.
Taking up a coaching role with the Scarborough Football Scholarship has sparked a love of coaching and Coulson now wants to progress a career in coaching - not ruling out becoming Boro manager in the future.
“I’ve really enjoyed it so far with the Scholarship, it’s something I never thought I would get into which is why I never progressed with badges or anything when I was playing full time,” added Coulson.
“I feel like I have the knowledge to pass onto the kids and the environment is great, just working out on the pitch with young players who want to learn is great.
“I’m learning a lot from Denny [Ingram] and Ryan [Blott] and I know I want to stay in the game as long as possible, so whether that is coaching or managing, we’ll have to wait and see.
“Football has been a part of my life since I was a young kid and I don’t want to lose that, I want to stay in the game as long as possible.”
Coulson believes with one or two additions Boro can mount a serious push for promotion from the Northern Premier League in the 2021/22 season.
“I think this is as good a squad as we’ve had, it’s very strong and we have some great players,” added Coulson.
“I think we were maybe or two players short of what was required to start a bit better but we had injuries and were down to the bare bones at times.
“The positive is that if we keep this squad together and add a couple to it, I like to think we’ll be right up there next season and challenging.
“It’s been a little bit frustrating really that since we’ve come into this league I think we have underachieved and haven’t quite hit the heights we should’ve done as a team.
“On that front I think we have a point to prove in this league and we should be challenging at the top of the table at Scarborough.
“Yes, I know there are clubs with bigger budgets and it’s a tough league, but we have the backing of our fans and that can make a big, big difference.
“Hopefully when we do get back started we can really give it a good go as we are more than capable.”
On the prospect of next leading Scarborough Athletic out at a packed Flamingo Land Stadium, the club captain added: “It will feel strange and I think it will certainly make us players and the supporters appreciate their football all the more.
“I think people have taken things for granted, and that’s fair enough as it was the norm, but that isn’t the case now.
“The build up is what I miss most too, Thursday night at training, Friday getting excited and then waking up Saturday on matchday with that buzz for the match.
“It’s going to be a great feeling and I’m sure all the fans are going to be absolutely desperate to get back.”
Coulson also had a message for any Scarborough Athletic supporters finding times difficult at the moment, touching on earlier challenges in his career when he had to reach out for support.
“I’ve been thought counselling in my career and it is incredibly hard to reach out and ask for help,” he said.
“I’m sure there will be Scarborough fans out there struggling, so make sure you pick up the phone and speak to someone.
“Hopefully we will all be back to something closer to normality soon.”