Former Oxford United defender Michael Duberry considering retirement

Michael Duberry

Former Oxford United defender Michael Duberry has told BBC Oxford he is considering retirement after failing to find a club since leaving the U's.

The 37-year old was released in the summer and had been playing for non-league Hendon to maintain his fitness.

Duberry has yet to to attract firm interest from a club in the Football League or Conference and is reluctantly mulling over a decision to retire.

"I've floated with the idea, it's not one that scares me," said Duberry.

The former Chelsea player signed for the U's in June 2011 and became a regular starter at the heart of the Oxford United defence but was restricted to only 13 appearances last season because of a serious neck injury.

He was released as part of a summer clearout at the club.

"It's a bit difficult and a bit frustrating and we'll see how long the wait goes before I say 'you know what, it's time to hang up the boots' and get on with the next stage of my life," Duberry told BBC Radio Oxford.

"I still love playing, it's a head scratcher for myself that I find myself not at a club.

"People must look at my age and close the book. There is nothing I can do about that.

"Hopefully there is a manager with a strong enough personality to want me in their changing room, but if not such is life.

"It's football and if it ends that way, it ends that way."

Duberry says he has not set a definitive deadline but admits Christmas could be a good time to call time on a career that has seen him play 484 times.

"When I see the belly hanging over my trousers I'll call it a day," joked Duberry.

"I'll keep my self active, I still feel good, but realistically I can't go on forever.

"I'll play in the conference - I just want to play for a team with ambition. It's frustrating [because] my performances last year showed I can still do a job and play well. I am available.

"It's turned September, it could well be well before January that I make up my mind if nothing happens."

Duberry added: "I'm happy and content with what I have achieved, but everyone wants that swansong of going out with your kids and the whole stadium clapping you on and off.

"But if I go out quietly then I will be more than content."