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York City leave door open for retiring Richard Cresswell
11:07am Friday 6th December 2013 in Sport
YORK City chairman Jason McGill is leaving the door open for the retiring Richard Cresswell to return to the club.
Cresswell has left Bootham Crescent after turning down the opportunity to take a coaching job within the Minstermen’s academy.
But McGill would welcome Cresswell being employed by the club again in some capacity.
He said: “Richard has a genuine desire to see the club succeed. It’s not just platitudes with him.
“His children are York City supporters and so are the people who live down his street. He has probably, subconsciously, been carrying out an ambassadorial role for the club within the city.
“The fact he is leaving is a sad time for York City but it’s the start of something new for Richard and he will always be welcome back in whatever guise that may be.”
Cresswell is also not ruling out working again for the club, where he started and ended his playing career.
“Everybody at the club has been fantastic – the chairman, management staff and fans,” the former Leeds and Sheffield United forward said. “It’s my local club and the supporters gave me a great reception when I came back.
“I have told the chairman if I can help in any way at all, I would love to give something back to the club one day. My kids are York City fans and the club is special to me and always will be.”
Explaining his decision to pass up on the job offer made to him this week, Cresswell added: “The position was not really what I am looking for.
“I want to be involved with a first team, while being realistic and keeping my options open. I have coached Sheffield United Under-21s and was involved with the first team at the end of last season.
“I feel now it’s time for me to learn a bit more and educate myself the best I can. I studied three years for my UEFA ‘A’ licence and it’s there for me now to use when I get the opportunity.
“You can gain all the knowledge possible from games but doing the ‘A’ Licence makes you appreciate how a coach delivers a session, sets it up and learns what works and what doesn’t. I have been doing that for the last three years and I am now looking forward to learning more and being a young coach rather than a veteran player.”
Cresswell studied for his ‘A’ licence on the same Ireland course that was attended by his best friend Jonathan Greening, Chris Morgan and Joey Barton.
Landing a coaching job is now his first priority, although he is also refusing to rule out an eventual stab at management.
“Who knows?” he said. “At this moment I want to get into coaching but let’s see where that takes me.”
Offering the final word on the reasons behind hanging up his boots at 36, Cresswell cited a frustration at his bit part on the pitch this term, as well as a worsening eye condition and a long-standing knee complaint.
Despite suffering from the same knee problem that ended Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s career, Cresswell has managed to prolong his career five years longer than predicted by surgeons.
He has also suffered an infection and damage to his eye cells in recent months following a change to his contact lenses.
Cresswell said: “It was a very difficult and emotional decision but, because of the injuries I have had over the years and the eye problem this season, that made my mind up.
“My eye isn’t getting any better in terms of wearing the contact lenses under lights for night matches and you know when you’re not performing to levels you are happy with. Maybe I could have made an impact for the club every now and again but, as a player, you know when your time is up and it’s the right time to step aside.
“I am also not going to lie – I have been disappointed not to play a bigger part this season. I’ve found that difficult and frustrating but I’ve got to get rid of that because it does you no favours.
“I didn’t want that frustration to spill into my family life because I should be enjoying football.”
Career appearances: 651
Career goals: 142 Clubs: York, Mansfield (loan), Sheffield Wednesday, Leicester, Preston, Leeds, Stoke, Sheffield United, York
Total transfer fees: £5.35million
Biggest single transfer: £1.51million (Preston to Leeds, August 2005)
England under-21 honours: 4 caps, 1 goal Professional debut: January 20, 1996 – Brentford 2 York City 0 (League One)
Last game: November 8, 2013 - Bristol Rovers 3 York City 3 (FA Cup first round)
First professional goal: March 2, 1996 – Bradford City 2 York City 2 (League One)
Last goal: April 1, 2013 – York City 2 Plymouth 0 (League Two)
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