FOOTBALL is all Grant Murray has ever known since leaving school.
And the 36-year-old Raith Rovers captain has no intention of letting it go – even if he hangs up his boots when his current contract expires in 2013.
Murray will be approaching 38 at the end of next season, and while the evergreen defender could yet follow the example of Davie Weir at Rangers and continue playing towards his 40th birthday, he has started laying the foundations for a career beyond playing.
Both Murray and team mate Laurie Ellis spent Sunday and Monday in Largs – home to Scottish football’s coaching headquarters – where they are working towards earning their UEFA coaching badges.
They are currently enrolled on the B Licence programme, having both successfully attained the introductory A Licence last season, and Murray hopes it could lead to him following in the footsteps of John McGlynn once his playing days are over.
“As you get older you look at the game form a different point of view, and start thinking about life after playing,” the Raith skipper told SportsPress.
“As a player you just turn up and everything is set out for you in training. We don’t realise the work that managers, assistants and coaches have to do to prepare for every session.
“Anyone who has played football will tell you that you just want to stay in the game as long as you can. You just have the bug.
“I went into the game straight from school so the longer I can continue to do it, the better. Who knows what will happen when I finish playing.
“I’d love to get into coaching but at the moment I’m a player at Raith Rovers and I just want to do the best for them.”
Murray may be a future manager in the making, but his current concern is with Raith’s poor form, which has seen them win just one of their last 10 competitive games.
Saturday’s defeat to Falkirk has left the Kirkcaldy side just one point above Dundee, who currently occupy bottom spot in Division One, making this Saturday’s visit to Dens Park all the more important.
He said: “Even when we went 1-0 down to Falkirk we felt as though we were well and truly still in the game – but the second goal is a killer for any team.
“There was still time if we got a quick goal then we could have thrown everything at them, but it just didn’t happen for us.
“You’re always disappointed after a defeat but it’s harder when you feel you’ve played well in the game.
“All we can do is learn from it, and prepare for Dundee away. It’s a place we’ve played well at before, but we need to start turning playing well into getting results.
“The longer this run goes, the more every game becomes a must-win.”