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RUSSELL LATAPY should be winding down his football career but the 38-year-old insists he can play on and on.


The little Magician ought to be passing on tips and tricks to a team in the lower divisions full of starry-eyed hopefuls this season.

However, Latapy is defying both time and logic as he continues to dazzle his SPL opponents every week with Falkirk.

For those who believe Latapy can't still kick it or hack it at the top they should watch a DVD of the Bairns' first two games this season.

There wasn't a better player on the park in either game but a modest Latapy insists it's all down to the style his team plays.

And he reckons it will allow him to play on a bit longer and even turn out in the top flight when he's 40.

He said: "John Hughes is trying to get Falkirk to play a passing game and that suits my style as it is a more European type of football.

"That is the reason I'm having fun and I'll continue to play as long as my body allows me to."

It was Latapy's intention to retire after this summer's World Cup finals with Trinidad and Tobago before changing his mind.

He insists he would never cheat his manager or the Falkirk fans but as long as he's making a positive contribution he'll stick around.

Latapy said: "Finishing after the World Cup would have been the perfect way to end my career.

"But Falkirk don't have the biggest squad and I'm still needed to do my bit which I'm happy to do.

"Falkirk don't want to just bring jersey-fillers to the club. We want quality players and until we can do that I'll have to play on.

"My body will tell me when it is time to go and I've said that the past four seasons. If it allows me to then maybe I will be okay to continue playing until I am 40.

"It is a lot easier to have fun when the team you play for are enjoying a decent run of results.

"It gets more difficult when you are struggling every week as it is a lot harder to go out express yourself.

"I am not scared to give football up as I will always play the game - even if it is on a Sunday or just with my mates.

"But I know I can still do it at this level so why give up? I truly love the game and I am still trying to make a positive contribution.

"As long as I can help the team and bring on the youngsters then I will do that.

"I would never cheat myself or the team - especially Yogi."

Hughes was the man who handed Latapy the chance to coach at Falkirk when he quit Tannadice two seasons ago and was about to be lost to the game altogether.

Latapy revealed he gets a real buzz from coaching - almost as much as he does from playing.

He has even uprooted his young family from Newton Mearns and moved to Falkirk in an effort to get closer to the action.

Latapy said: "I thought that when I left Dundee United I was going to quit football altogether but Yogi gave me the chance to continue playing and gain some experience in coaching.

"I am really enjoying the coaching aspect at the moment. I take the first team, the reserves and the kids and I'm loving it.

"I want to continue coaching here and I know Yogi is currently busy trying to get players in who will take the club forward.

"When he does that I might decide it's time to concentrate on the coaching but I can still hack it at this level.

"For the past three seasons I have been travelling 75 minutes every day to get to training which works out at two-and-a-half hours added on to your day.

"I thought that it would be much easier and in case of emergencies if I stayed in Falkirk - especially as I now have a young baby.

"I am only 10 minutes away from the stadium now. I roll out of bed and by 9.30am I have had breakfast and walked the dog and I'm ready for training."

He may be 38 but there's plenty of life left in this old dog yet.