James Coppinger: My kids have kept me young + VIDEO

James CoppingerJames Coppinger
James Coppinger
Evergreen James Coppinger says his three children have kept him young.

The 36-year-old Rovers legend signed a new one-year contract extension this week.

Ahead of today’s home clash with Morecambe, the club’s all-time leading appearance maker said he feels as fit now as he has ever done and that his three children - Finley, nine, Isaac, eight, and Phoebe, two - have been big factors in that.

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“I think it’s fitness, it’s enthusiasm and I probably enjoy football more now than I did when I was younger,” said Coppinger, on the secret to his longevity.

“I’ve got two kids who are both into football and I’m teaching them the basics on a daily basis. So I can’t be preaching one thing and then not doing it when they come to watch me on a Saturday!

“The kids are definitely one of the things that has kept me motivated.

“For me one of the things people lose is that enthusiasm to get out of bed in a morning and go and train, and train again. When it’s not going right you can think to yourself ‘do I need to be doing this?’ But for me I’m still enjoying it - training and playing games.”

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He added: “I’m a very active person in general. I built my own house three years ago - project managed the whole build.

“I’m on the move constantly and don’t have a second now with three kids. But even before my kids I was always active. That’s healthy, it keeps your mind active.”