Barmby still gets the buzz
Midfielder proves his worth to Tigers boss Brown
Last Updated: July 31, 2009 8:43am
Barmby: Still going strong
Hull City veteran Nick Barmby insists he has no plans to hang up his boots as he prepares for his latest Premier League campaign.
The 35-year-old midfielder, who has racked up 322 top-flight appearances, was rewarded for his part in the Tigers' successful battle against relegation with a new one-year deal.
Barmby will be hoping to guide Phil Brown's side to silverware on Friday as they prepare to tackle Tottenham in the final of the Asia Trophy in China.
The former England international is not feeling the toll of playing football at the highest level and believes he has more than matched some of the younger members of the Tigers' squad during pre-season.
"I still love the buzz of coming into training and playing and I still have that enthusiasm and fire inside me to play," he said.
"You just have to look after your body. The good thing is I am seeing young lads struggling in pre-season and that keeps me going."
Barmby's return to Beijing's Workers Stadium this week has evoked fond memories of 1996 when he scored twice for England in a 3-0 friendly win over China.
"It is fantastic (to be back)," he added. "The city has changed a lot since I was last here.
"It is a great experience for us and a great experience for Hull City. The story of us as a club coming this far and playing in a tournament like this is fantastic."
Brown has also been pleasantly surprised by Barmby's stamina as he overcame the heat and humidity to help Hull edge Chinese side Beijing Guoan 5-4 on penalties on Wednesday.
"He got 65 minutes of the game (against Beijing Guoan) and we had been expecting him to come off knackered at half-time," said Brown. "It is a credit to himself what he is doing at the moment.
"We gave him another year in terms of contract last season. It is not just an ambassadorial role, Nick is here to play football and at the highest level and he is doing that.
"The likes of Nicky Barmby are going to keep me in a job for a long time to come hopefully."