Promotion secured as ex-Mansfield Town star Jamie McGuire's playing career returns with a bang
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But McGuire is now desperate to make sure the Blues go up as champions and, feeling good at 38, the midfield tiger believes he still has another decent season inside him.
He hadn't played since a pre-pandemic spell with AFC Mansfield, but when Long Eaton United boss Ian Deakin, who is also the Stags' commercial executive, asked him to bring his experience to their squad for their final title push, McGuire quickly answered the call.
“Deaks spoke to me at the start of the season but I wasn't sure whether to sign as I had so much coaching work at the Academy.
“Saturdays were free but I wasn't spending much time with my kids.
“I also thought about signing halfway through the season.
“I said if you are short on players or need any help give me a shout and it went from there.
“They are all good people down there and obviously Deaks works at the club now and he asked me if he wanted to step in for four or five games as he knew they would be tough games with tough battles which I am ideal for, and he wanted me to help push the team over the line.”
McGuire came on for the last 40 minutes with Long Eaton 2-0 up over Holbeach and helped inspire them to a second half rampage as it ended 7-0.
“We were 2-0 up but the performance just went a little bit down and I was sent on for my energy and experience to up the tempo and we ended up scoring another five goals.
“That's what they need me for. I was very vocal and demanded high standards.
“We've got promoted but now we want to win the title. You want titles on your CV at any level.
“If Gresley win their next two and we win on Saturday then on Monday we just have to win or draw against Gresley to win the title. We want to go up as champions – there is no better feeling.
“That's what it's about and has been all my career. That's what you want - to be involved in these games. And that's what gives me the hunger now to play one more year, whether that's with Long Eaton or with someone else, and to win another title.”
Physically, McGuire is feeling the best he has in a long time.
“I have given my body a long rest after non-stop constant battles over the years as a player and my body now feels really good,” he said.
“I have got it in good shape and I will try to get one more year out of it if I can.
“When I played for Mansfield my little girl got to watch me, but my little boy has never done that.
“He is four now so I would love him to see me play and understand me playing football.
“I think I have a lot more still to give with how I am, where I've been and what I've done and I want to try to help someone with that.”