Jay Spearing may have turned 30 this season but the Blackpool captain insists his best years are still ahead of him.
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The midfielder enjoyed an impressive campaign for the Seasiders, making 49 appearances in all competitions as Pool finished 10th in League One.
His performances resulted in the former Liverpool man being voted Blackpool’s Player of the Season by Gazette readers.
Spearing may be one of the older heads in the Blackpool dressing room but that does not prevent him from playing a leading role for the Seasiders going forward.
He told The Gazette: “Personally I’m very happy with my season.
“I played quite a lot of games this year. I might have turned 30 in November but I don’t feel any less fit or sharp.
“I feel I’m growing game by game and I think having a full pre-season behind me this year was exactly what I needed.”
Spearing, renowned for his tough tackling and exemplary defensive work, also enjoyed the best season of his career in front of goal.
The midfielder finished the campaign with six goals, placing him joint-third in the club’s scoring chart.
“Obviously the goals tally has gone up this year, which has been a bonus,” Spearing added.
“I know most of them were penalties, but at the end of the day you’ve got to put them in the back of the net and thankfully I was able to do that.
“I’m very, very pleased with the season and it was an honour as captain to lead this club week in, week out.”
One of those penalties came in the thrilling 2-1 win at Accrington Stanley.
Spearing’s late spot-kick sealed a valuable win back in March.
The match was the first to be played after Owen Oyston was formally removed from the club’s board, spelling the return of thousands of supporters who had previously boycotted for four years.
Spearing added: “I think for me personally the highlight of the season was the penalty to win the game away at Accrington.
“It was one of the first games the fans had come back to and it was in front of a packed away end. You could feel the atmosphere leading up to the penalty.
“I just wanted to make sure it went in and it was a great feeling when it did, with the crowd absolutely buzzing.
“For them to come back and be a part of it again was exciting. Hopefully it’s exciting times ahead.”