Peter Clarke still hungry to compete as new season draws closer

Warrington Town centre-back Peter Clarke believes he still has plenty to offer the side as preparations continue ahead of the 2024/25 season.

The 42-year-old agreed new terms with the Yellows following the season’s end, extending a playing career which began at Everton back in 1999.

Clarke was a mainstay of the side that finished 12th in the National League North last season, registering 43 appearances in all competitions – 38 of which were starts.

Now the veteran defender has set his sights on another successful campaign at Cantilever Park and help consolidate the club’s position at Step 2.

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“I thoroughly enjoyed my time here last season. Collectively we showed our worth in the division above,” he said.

“When the conversation came about [to extend his contract], it was a relatively easy decision.”

Last season marked Clarke’s first in a semi-professional environment.

He now combines his playing duties with a role at the Professional Footballers’ Association, but the new challenge is one he is taking great positives from.

Furthermore, he feels that the setup at Cantilever Park allows for the side to band together effectively.

He added: “Semi-professional players deserve a lot of credit because it’s not easy, training twice a week and travelling down on the day of games as well as working.

“It helps build a togetherness and robustness amongst the group – if the going gets tough, we can rely on each other and that environment is worked upon by management.”

Clarke re-signed alongside fellow central defenders Tom Hannigan and Evan Gumbs, and whilst he acknowledges that competition for places will be high, he is hungry to play as much as he can.

January marked 25 years since Clarke’s senior debut in men’s professional football for Everton, but with his 1,000th career appearance on the horizon, he admits his mindset towards the beautiful game hasn’t changed.

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“I want to play every minute of every game. I want to be available for selection as much as possible.

“I still feel okay and I love being out there competing. People have been saying as far back as five or six years ago that I might not play as much as I want to, and I want to carry on proving them wrong!

“I just want to have a good pre-season and be as available as I can be. My thinking is pretty much the same.

“I’ve always had the belief that if I do that, then I give myself the best opportunity to perform.”

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