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Archive - Tuesday, 6 September 2005
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I wanted to pack it in
DUANE Courtney has revealed he almost gave up football before sealing a dream deadline day move to Burnley.
The former Birmingham City youngster admitted he was distraught after failing to make the grade under Steve Bruce at St Andrews.
However, a timely call from AFC Telford persuaded the defender to give it one last shot and that lay the foundations for his big opportunity at Turf Moor.
"The season before last I was at Birmingham but it didn't work out," said Courtney. "Steve tried to help me out by finding me a club and I went out to a few but my heart wasn't in it and, to be honest, I was going to give up football.
"But I had a little talk with Telford manager Bernard McNally, who asked me to come down and play, and before I knew it I was having my best season ever and winning their player of the year.
"I just gave it 100 per cent and every time I played I did it as though it was my last game, so I'm grateful to them."
Courtney, who cost the Clarets an initial £25,000 after signing a two-year deal, admitted he also had the opportunity to join Wolverhampton Wanderers as last Thursday's deadline loomed.
However, he finally jumped at Steve Cotterill's offer after believing Burnley offered him the best chance to further his career.
He said: "Bernard McNally gave me a bell saying that he had news for me and before I knew it he said Burnley were interested and they had come in with a bid.
"It was a surprise to me because I'd come from such a low club, so I left it in their hands and before I knew it I was up here and ready to sign.
"I'm still absolutely shattered after Wednesday though. Wolves were interested, so It was back and forth from Wolves to Burnley and from Burnley to Wolves.
"They are both big clubs, but at the end of the day I am looking to play football and there is a great set of boys here and I think I can get an opportunity to play.
"The lads here have all made me welcome and that's a great help.
"It's like a weight off your shoulders and it just allows you to get on with your football.
"I would like to think I am hard working and at Burnley I will always give it 100 per cent with the right attitude and hopefully, you never know, I might get my chance."