James Beattie planning to make the most of Accrington Stanley opportunity

James Beattie: Has linked up with Accrington in a player-coach capacity

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James Beattie claims he still has the 'spark' to play football and is thankful to Accrington Stanley for giving him a chance.

The 34-year-old striker has seen his star fade over recent years, with a dramatic fall from grace taking him from the England squad to League Two.

It has been suggested that the former Southampton and Everton forward has lost his appetite for the game following a testing period on and off the field.

Beattie insists that is not the case and is adamant that he still has plenty of goals left in his locker.

He told the Daily Mail: "I know that even people within football say I don't want to play any more. They can think what they want, that's totally wrong.

"I know I could hold my own at Championship level. The Premier League is probably gone, but you never know - I'm a proven goalscorer at that level."

James Beattie

"I won't stop because I've been knocked back by a few clubs. As long as I've got that spark to get out of bed in the morning and play football, I will pursue it.

"You're just waiting for somebody to give you a chance. It's a little bit like starting again.

"Realistically, I know I could hold my own at Championship level. The Premier League is probably gone, but you never know - I'm a proven goalscorer at that level.

Sharpness

Beattie added: "It's just the match sharpness, which is exactly why I've gone to Accrington.

"I'm hardly on anything but I'll give the lads my time and put everything I've got into it.

"I've been lucky with the people I've had around me. I've got other things in place that can sustain my lifestyle for the rest of my life. I'm not going to say I didn't have fun, but I could retire if I wanted to - I just don't want to."