Russell: I may bow out on top after final
Antwan Russell, the Robin Hood striker, is contemplating hanging up his boots after his team face Southampton Rangers in the FA Cup final on Sunday.
The 31-year-old former Bermuda player admits that he is no longer as passionate about the game as he was and is strongly considering calling time on his career after this weekend’s clash at the National Stadium.
“I’m not totally certain, but I’m leaning towards bowing out on top if we win the FA Cup,” Russell, who is in contention for the Premier Division golden boot with over 20 league goals this term, said.
“It could be my curtain call, depending on what state Robin Hood are left in next season. Every season around Christmas/January, I start losing interest and even though I play at my best, it’s hard to keep motivated.”
Hood, the 2015-16 champions, advanced to their second FA Cup final after beating Russell’s childhood club and nemesis PHC Zebras on penalties in the semi-final.
It was the third straight time this season that the teams met in a cup semi-final, with Zebras winning the previous two en route to lifting the Dudley Eve and Friendship Trophy.
PHC also beat Hood in the traditional season opening Charity Cup.
While relieved to have finally gotten the better of Zebras, Russell admits that there is still work to be done against underdogs and First Division opponents Rangers.
“Every semi-final we have lost has been against the champions PHC, but to beat them in the semi-final is only half the job,” Russell said. “Now we’re looking to beat Rangers and go one better and win the trophy because we have finished second in just about everything this season and you know how bad a feeling it is to be second. We want to be the ones smiling at the end on Sunday.
“We had a goal at the beginning of the season to retain our [Premier Division] title and win one or two finals.
“But obviously PHC had an unbelievable season and my hats off to them.”
Hood will come up against their former captain, Darius Cox, who joined Rangers on a late transfer, on Sunday.
“That’s going to be a battle and Darius and I played with and against each other for years,” Russell said. “It’s going to be another test and I know what I’m up against and I’m pretty sure he knows what he’s up against and so I’m looking forward to that.”
More than anything else, Russell said he and his team-mates are determined to win the FA Cup for coach John Barry Nusum, who succeeded Kyle Lightbourne at the beginning of the campaign.
“John Barry has picked up where Lighty has left off,” Russell said. “He didn’t come in trying to change too much.
“He has done an excellent job this season and we all want to win it for him.”
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