Port Vale: Owen ready to play on after opting to leave Valiants
GARETH Owen is refusing to give up on his playing career, despite coming to the end of his Port Vale career yesterday.
The 30-year-old centre-half, who left Port Vale by mutual consent yesterday, insists he's not ready to hang up his boots just yet.
Owen says he'll take time out to look at his options, but added: "I still have a burning desire to play football and there have been several inquiries already.
"I'll give myself a couple of weeks to take it all in and have a think about it, but I still want to play."
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Owen could also turn to coaching, having already passed his UEFA B licence, but also has one eye on a career outside the game.
"I have a degree in media and could well do something on that side of things, or it could be a mix of all three – playing, coaching and the media. I just haven't decided yet.
"It will be a bit of a leap into the unknown, but the good thing is I have given myself some options and I'm looking forward to an exciting challenge."
Cheadle-born Owen, who started his career as a youngster with Stoke City, arrived at Vale Park on loan from Stockport in November 2008.
He made the deal permanent in January 2009 and went on to make 119 starts for the club.
But he suffered a string of injuries last season and had started just one game this term – when he was forced off with a dead-leg at half-time against Northampton.
"The writing was on the wall in one respect, as I wasn't even part of the match-day squad towards the end," he said, "but I have no complaints on that score.
"The manager makes his choices, it's all part of football.
"I could have stayed at Vale just taking my money every week, but that's just not me. So I raised the idea of calling it a day and we reached an agreement."
However, Owen admitted he'd be leaving the club with a heavy heart.
"It's sad really because I had some great times at Port Vale," he added.
"It's a fantastic club to play for and I have some good friends there.
"But I have to think of my own future and this is the best thing to do."
Owen proud of his key role during dark times for Valiants: See Saturday's Green Un