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Cheltenham Town: I'd play for Robins for free - Duane Courtney

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: January 20, 2011

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Keen: Duane Courtney

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DEFENDER Duane Courtney says he would jump at the chance to become a part of what manager Mark Yates is building at Cheltenham Town.

The 26-year-old appeared for the Robins' reserves in their impressive 2-0 win at Coventry City's training ground on Tuesday and he is a player Yates knows well.

Courtney was at Burnley during Yates' spell as first-team coach at Turf Moor and then played under Yates at Kidderminster Harriers in the Blue Square Premier last season.

Predominantly a right-back, Courtney is also comfortable in the centre, which is where he played against Coventry and he showed speed and a good leap.

Currently contracted to York City until the end of the season, Courtney is looking for a new club and said he would perform under Yates "for nothing" if he had a chance.

"Hopefully Mark is considering it, but I am not sure if he is specifically looking for a defender at the moment," Courtney said.

"I am looking for an opportunity in the Football League and I know I still have a lot to offer, so hopefully I gave him something to think about with my performance in the reserves.

"I like Mark and Neil Howarth (assistant manager), the way they work and the set up they have at Cheltenham.

"Things have not worked out for me at York and I'd love to be a part of it at Cheltenham.

"I'd play for free if I could because Mark deals with people very well and the lads all want to play for him. I really think he can go far as a manager."

Former Birmingham City trainee Courtney admits he tasted too much of the footballing high life at a young age and is now hoping for a second chance to put his career back on the right track.

"I have two years' experience of playing in the Championship, but I didn't appreciate it at the time and things have done downhill for me since," he said.

"I lost my way and it's been hard to pick things up again.

"My head dropped, but my mentality is different now.

"I have now realised what I had and I am hoping it's not too late because I love football.

"The reserve game was my first game for five months and I felt comfortable, but I can give a lot more than that when I get myself match fit.

"Mark Yates knows how I can play and I think the sky is the limit, so I am keeping the faith and working hard to get a club."

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    Steve, Prestbury  |  January 20 2011, 6:50PM

    Stephen, Prestbury Road. Apologies for the confusion.

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    Steve, Prestbury  |  January 20 2011, 5:34PM

    Who's this Steve from Prestbury under this comment. it is not me.

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    Steve., Prestbury  |  January 20 2011, 1:20PM

    I heard from a football source, who was at the reserves match, that Steve Ogrizovic Coventry City Goalkeeping Coach was watching our keeper, sitting behind his goal and Aidy Boothroyd was also paying close attention. I think there was press speculation, last season, when Boothroyd was at Colchester and the lad was on trial at Man Utd. Probably putting two and two together and not getting four though!

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    Richard lll, Cheltenham  |  January 20 2011, 9:32AM

    Reckon that MY will be keeping an eye on Courtney for the rest of the season, maybe invite him down for a few more reserve matches if possible. If Riley does go elsewhere, Courtney could be a replacement.

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    steve, Prestbury  |  January 20 2011, 9:13AM

    Duane Courtney sound like a good player from what I have seen in the papers and the match against Coventry city. Could be well worth looking into getting him in the team.

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