JOHN Mousinho enjoys the challenge of juggling his new role as President of the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) with a return to action next season.
The Oxford United club captain has been elected by the union’s new player council, having served on the previous management committee.
It comes as the 35-year-old continues to recover from knee surgery, which he hopes will extend his career in the field.
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Mousinho’s increased responsibilities with PFA will take longer, but the center-back doesn’t expect this to have an impact on his commitment to his club.
He said: âThis will not affect my engagement with Oxford at all.
âIt’s something I’ve been doing for five or six years, not in the role of president.
âIt’s going to take a little longer away from the training ground and the games.
âIt’s something I’m just going to have to balance.
âIt’s an exciting role and something that I’ve been passionate about for a few years.
âI’m looking to grab it with both hands, but I don’t lose sight of the fact that I still want to play a role on the side of the players next season.
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Mousinho added: âI mainly represent the union, so sometimes there are disputes with football clubs.
âIn my time with Oxford, there never was one.
âIt has always been great and I know the club treats the players well.
âIt will be very interesting, I hope it will allow the club to have one of its players in this position.
“I’m going to have to make sure that I put in the necessary time to play and play my part.”
Mousinho sits on the 13-player board that represents the Premier League, the three divisions of the English Football League, the Women’s Super League and former members of the PFA.
The U skipper injured his right knee in the Carabao Cup second round against Watford in September and has made nine appearances this season, the last on December 15 against Northampton Town.
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He went under the knife in January and continues to gain experience on the sideline with Karl Robinson’s coaching staff, as he has since October 2019.
Mousinho’s contract expires at the end of the season, but the club may trigger an option for an additional year.
With the recovery going well, the defender hopes to extend his playing career in a 17th campaign.
He said: âI’ve been on the pitch for four weeks and about 100 percent with everything I do.
âOne of my thoughts all along was if I came back and the knee wasn’t okay I would call it someday, but it’s just fine.
âI’ve been fortunate enough to keep myself in pretty good physical shape for most of my career anyway.
âI think I have a lot to offer on the playing side – probably in a smaller role than the last few years, but I definitely want to come back and play.
âI still love the smell of game days and everything that goes with it.
âIt will be the six month mark (since the surgery) in mid-July and that’s about right for this injury.
“The preseason will be the time when I come back and have another chance.”