Sheffield United promotion hero looks to future after Derby departure ahead of $1m Wolves challenge

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Blades promotion-winner has no plans to retire just yet as he gears up for $1million tournament

Former Sheffield United defender Richard Stearman is not ready to call time on his playing career just yet - as he prepares for a $1million winner-takes-all tournament this summer with another of his old clubs.

Stearman helped the Blades win promotion to the Premier League in 2018/19 and is remembered fondly for his performances on the pitch, and his famous celebrations off it. After leaving United he played for Huddersfield Town and Derby County before leaving Pride Park this summer.

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Now 35, he has his UEFA A and B coaching badges but is not ready to make the transition just yet and will join another ex-Blade in Leon Clarke in representing their former club Wolves squad for a seven-a-side tournament in the USA, which will see the winners land a million-dollar prize.

Amongst the 32 teams competing are the likes of West Ham and Borussia Dortmund, as well as Wrexham, with the tournament getting underway tomorrow [Thursday, June 1]. “It is great to be wearing the kit and the badge again,” Stearman said. “I am really excited, very grateful to get the invite and I am really looking forward to the tournament.”

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It also represents another chance to keep fit in the hope of finding a new club this summer and prolonging a career that has so far brought almost 550 senior appearances.

“The plan is hopefully to carry on playing. This platform gives me a chance to stay fit over the summer, on top of being able to represent Wolves again,” Stearman told BirminghamLive. “It keeps my eye in a little bit and wait by the phone for a team to hopefully come calling that require my services.

“I have had my coaching badges for a while now. I was conscious I wanted to have that ready to go and wasn’t scrambling a little bit if and when the time came that I was going to top playing. So, I have that ready to go.

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“Derby have been fantastic with me over the past couple of seasons, they have supported me in terms of giving me some experience on the coaching side if I wasn’t involved in a matchday squad.

“I have been able to help out through the week and then, on a matchday, work on the others side of things. I can’t thank them enough. So, I will see what happens, see what opportunities come up. The plan is to keep playing for as long as I can but as and when the opportunity arises, I would like to step into coaching.”

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