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Sunday best for Barmby at the moment as he awaits right offer

Nick Barmby in his days as Hull City manager.

Nick Barmby in his days as Hull City manager.

  • by Nick Westby
 

Former England international Nick Barmby says he will happily walk away from football for good if he does not receive an enticing enough offer to return to management.

The much-travelled 38-year-old has been out of the game since an acrimonious departure from Hull City.

He was sacked as manager by his home-town club towards the end of last season for talking about transfer budgets in media interviews.

After appealing against the dismissal, the two parties issued a statement in October saying the matter had been resolved.

Barmby led Hull to an eighth-place finish in his half-season in charge and has been linked to a number of jobs since then, including the one at Burnley before Sean Dyche was appointed. But the forward, who earned 23 England caps, says he is content putting family life before football.

“I’m enjoying watching my own children play,” said Barmby, who is one of seven players to have scored for six different clubs in the Premier League.

“I have been able to do that for a long time now. I’ve been helping out with a Sunday league side in the Hull area for a few years and I’m really enjoying that. If something comes up I’ll look at it. If not, I’ll go on.

“I’d have no qualms about doing something else. Football has been great to me and my family and I miss playing. But it all comes to an end some day and if this is to be the end then I’ll do something else.

“There’s been a bit of interest in me and a few things from abroad, but my family is settled here.”

Barmby also ruled out a return to playing, something he did with distinction for two decades.

After joining Tottenham upon leaving school, the Hull youngster played for some of the biggest clubs in the country. He joined Middlesbrough from Spurs and then moved to Everton, for a combined fee of £11m.

He crossed the city of Liverpool to play for the red half after four years and also played for Leeds United before making the dream switch to his boyhood idols Hull in 2004.

Barmby helped the Tigers to promotion in 2008 and acquitted himself well as player-caretaker manager when he succeeded 
Nigel Pearson in November, 2011.

He brought the curtain down on his playing career in January when he was appointed full-time manager, and feels he has been too long out of the game to make any sort of impact as a player.

As his former club Hull challenge for promotion to the Premier League, Barmby’s attentions are on the junior team he helps run, and his son Jack, who is on the books at Manchester United.

To that end, a burgeoning youth set-up in English football would be welcomed, and the new national football centre at St George’s in Burton is something that excites the former international.

“St George’s is a fantastic facility,” said Barmby.

“I’ve been invited to go and have a tour around it and I’ll definitely go at some stage.

“These are exciting times. We have got some good young players coming through.

“The main thing is, though, we have got to be patient. I was lucky enough to be at Lilleshall, the FA’s national academy, and I know that projects like these take time.

“There were a lot of graduates who went on to earn full honours for England from Lilleshall, and it will take a bit of time to see the full benefit of St George’s, but we definitely will at some stage.”

Helping youngsters progress in any sport is very much Barmby’s mantra.

He was in Hull recently to help promote StreetChance, an initiative aimed at tackling youth crime and anti-social behaviour using street cricket.

A cricketer in so far as he occasionally donned the whites to play indoors, Barmby understands the role of team sport to help build 
relationships and confidence.

“It’s about going into areas where kids have been affected by anti-social behaviour and getting them off the streets,” said Barmby.

“This one in Hull is important to me and I’m really pleased I got involved. It’s a scheme that has 
really taken off.

“It’s good that kids play different sports. It’s important if you’re a budding footballer that you don’t just play football, that you play other sports like cricket, or say tennis for instance, where you can improve your hand-eye co-ordination. It’s about getting the kids’ confidence up and getting them integrated into a team environment.”

nick.westby@ypn.co.uk

Nick Barmby was speaking on behalf of ‘StreetChance supported by Barclays Spaces for Sports’. Sessions in Hull are held at Wymersley, Thoresby and Shaw Park. For details visit www.streetchance.org

 

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