Skuse on contract talks with Evans, his 'life after football role' at Ipswich and having plenty left in the tank

PUBLISHED: 14:56 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:10 13 February 2020

Cole Skuse would like to stay at Ipswich Town beyond the end of the season. Picture Pagepix

Cole Skuse would like to stay at Ipswich Town beyond the end of the season. Picture Pagepix

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Cole Skuse is hopeful of remaining with Ipswich Town beyond the end of this season but admitted he may need to play the waiting game regarding a new deal.

Cole Skuse in action during Town's 0-0 draw at AFC Wimbledon Photo: ROSS HALLSCole Skuse in action during Town's 0-0 draw at AFC Wimbledon Photo: ROSS HALLS

The 33-year-old has been with the club since the summer of 2013, racking up 271 appearances, but is out of contract at the end of this season. The club hold an option to extend his deal for a further 12 months but that's unlikely to be triggered.

Skuse revealed he has held preliminary discussions with owner Marcus Evans, who has indicated a desire to keep the midfielder, but admitted talks have not progressed significantly and that he may have to wait to nearer the end of the campaign.

"If I was offered a contract by Ipswich then we're very settled here as a family," said Skuse.

"We've recently bought a new house here and renovated it and our kids are settled in school and nursery, so I'd love to stay.

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"I've had a sit down with Marcus (Evans, owner) and with Lee (O'Neill, general manager) but that's as far as we've got so far really. The talks haven't really progressed in any way past those sit downs but they've expressed an interest in keeping me at the club both in a playing capacity and in terms of life after football.

"That's very flattering to hear and I'd love to take that up because we love it here. When those talks progress hopefully it will be successful for all parties.

"I don't know whether (being in the Championship or League One next season) is in their thinking or not but that's a question for them I guess.

Cole Skuse in action during Town's 1-0 defeat Sunderland Photo: ROSS HALLSCole Skuse in action during Town's 1-0 defeat Sunderland Photo: ROSS HALLS

"In any work environment you'd like to know sooner rather than later but that's not my decision to be made. They have their side of it and I have mine but when things come to fruition it will hopefully be right for all parties."

Skuse added: "I have an option year, which they have to inform me of by a certain date, but I don't think it will be the option and more of a case of discussing a fresh contract.

"That could be a playing role and a 'life after football role'. I've had a good chat with Marcus and Lee and nobody's hiding away from it - they've said they'd like to speak to it a little more towards the end of the season."

Skuse has regularly spoken of a desire to coach when he hangs up his boots, with the midfielder currently taking his badges and working with Woodbridge Town.

Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse pictured during Town's 1-0 defeat Sunderland Photo: ROSS HALLSLuke Chambers and Cole Skuse pictured during Town's 1-0 defeat Sunderland Photo: ROSS HALLS

"When I talk about work off the field, be it coaching, stuff in the community or matchday roles, it's something me, Marcus, Lee and the manager (Paul Lambert) have spoken about," Skuse said.

"I'm doing my badges at the minute and some work with Woodbridge Town. I've decided to do that away from the club to get out of the Ipswich environment.

"That's not in the front of my mind, really because I feel like I'm capable of playing for a long time. I'm very much focussed on being a football player."

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Skuse has made 29 appearances in all competitions this season, recently returning to the side following a neck problem, and believes he still has plenty of miles left in his legs following 587 games as a professional.

"It doesn't get my back up, but it kind of does to a degree," he said, when asked if he still believes he has plenty left in the tank.

"You can't tar all 33-year-olds with the same brush because I've had a good record with injuries and I live my life right. I don't drink, my diet is good and my running stats are the same as when I was 27.

"I don't think that's even a question really.

"I've said it in the past and I'll say it again now, but age is just a number in my eyes. If you look at the stats and my injury record they're all good.

"I'm more than capable and ready to play as many games as I'm asked to."

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