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Sky Sports interview with Jon Stead and Shola Ameobi

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An entertaining and informative interview from Sky Sports with Notts County veterans Jon Stead and Shola Ameobi, alas not-very-affectionately named "The Old Guys"...

The Old Guys: Jon Stead and Shola Ameobi Q&A

Jon Stead and Shola Ameobi may be well into the twilight of their careers, but both are still going strong for Notts County as they push for promotion in League Two.

Ahead of their FA Cup clash with Swansea on Saturday, Stead, 34, and Ameobi, 36, sat down with Soccer Saturday to discuss their motivations to keep playing, their proudest moments and more...

What motivates you both to keep playing?

Stead: "When you've played for as long as we have you've got to have that hunger and appetite to keep playing every day and still improve. When you get that and also have good results then it makes you want it even more."

Ameobi: "For me it's the challenge of putting your body through what you have to do to compete with these younger guys at the weekend.

"But it's a challenge we both relish and I think it's important to still have the hunger to want to keep improving and to try and help the team. It's a great challenge we both enjoy and we're still excited to be out on the pitch every week."

How do you keep improving at this stage of your career?

Stead: "I'm probably not going to get any quicker, that's for sure! But I think we can get better learning from the younger lads. The game is always evolving and there are always new aspects to it. It could also be changing your own game slightly and using your experience to help some of the lads.

"There's also stuff we can pick up from the manager as well. He is just about older than me, but that's not the case for Shola! But the manager [Kevin Nolan], [his assistant] Alan Smith and Shola are people I can learn off because they've all been there and played at the top level for a lot longer than I have."

Ameobi: "Obviously as you get older you can't quite get to the balls you could before, so I think it's a case of being smart as well.

"You're always learning and obviously as Jon said you're giving back as well. The younger players enjoy playing with us because of the experience we've gained over the years and it's important to set an example for them."

What are the proudest moments of your career?

Stead: "From being a Huddersfield fan as a kid to making your debut in the first team, that was obviously a massive thing for me.

"Also scoring the winner for Blackburn against Manchester United at Ewood Park, although you may have to dig deep to find that one! That was obviously a highlight for me coming straight from the old Division Three to the Premier League. It was all a bit of a whirlwind and a pinch yourself moment."

Ameobi: "For me playing at the club I've supported since I was a boy in Newcastle was something I never took for granted, and to play for that long was a joy and something I really cherished. Playing for your boyhood team is always special and to do it for that long was really exciting for me."

How much longer do you see yourselves playing?

Stead: "As long as the hunger is there and I'm enjoying it, that's the main thing for me and Shola. We'll keep playing if our legs keep going! But I think both of us have a good couple of years left in us yet.

Ameobi: "At the end of the day you have to put your body through a lot, and it's important that if you're going to succeed at anything that there has to be that excitement and enjoyment, and I think we've both definitely got that. Long may it continue!"

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Good interview, though I have accepted that Stead and Ameobi can't keep going up top for us - they feel there's a couple of years left but I'm not so sure.

It's a shame we couldn't roll a few years off them both, as they would have been very exciting to watch bordering their prime.

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