Davis sees end of playing career as an opportunity

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , chief football writer

SEAN Davis has been forced to retire from football after failing to recover from the crippling knee injuries that ruined his Wanderers career.

The playmaker, signed on a Bosman from Portsmouth by Gary Megson in the summer of 2009, was due to be the fulcrum of the Whites’ midfield that season.

But damage to his knee cartilage just three games into his Reebok career sparked a nightmare run of problems that resulted in him being released by the club in July.

Davis had told The Bolton News over the summer that after moving back down to London, he would be giving a return to football his “best shot.”

But after announcing the news yesterday, the 33-year-old said he intended to remain in the game in some capacity and is currently working towards his coaching badges.

“I’ve made the decision to retire from football but it’s been something I’ve had time to think about and reflect on because of the amount of time I’ve been injured,” he said.

“For three years I’ve been out. I’ve tried coming back and it’s not been quite right, that’s something that is hard to take. I’m disappointed but I want to see what else is out there for me, I have to see it as an opportunity to do something else.

“I still want to be in the game and I believe I have a lot to offer, in what capacity, I’m not quite sure yet, but the idea of working with young players appeals to me.”

Davis twice appeared to be on the brink of a comeback at Wanderers, featuring heavily in the pre-season warm-ups two years ago in America, and also playing reserve team football last season.

He was sent out on loan to Championship side Bristol City in an effort to prove his fitness but admitted that his spell at Ashton Gate helped convince him that his comeback attempts were to prove fruitless.

“When I went on-loan to Bristol City, my knee was like a balloon after games,” he said.

“After speaking to the experts, they’ve told me it will never be strong enough to withstand the intensity of games.”

Davis played for Fulham, Tottenham and Pompey in a distinguished career which also saw him drafted into the full England squad by Sven-Goran Eriksson.

He remained uncapped, but won honours at Under-21 level whilst breaking through at Fulham alongside Zat Knight, under the tutelage of Jean Tigana.

And his first task after retirement could be going back to watch the Cottagers as a fan, with Davis clearly still very fond of the club.

“Someone told me recently that since I joined Fulham, no other player from Battersea has made it as a professional footballer from that area,” he said.

“There is so much talent in that area and if that is true, I would like to try and help change that. Growing up there were better players than me around, but maybe they didn’t have the support and sadly fell by the wayside.

“I know exactly how to relate to these players and I believe that I could help them fulfil their potential. Working with young players definitely appeals to me and in time is something I will look at.”

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