Mahon ready to show his playing days still lie ahead

Gavin Mahon has declared himself ready and able to prove football is not finished with him yet.

The 36-year-old has played in all four divisions of the Football League, as well as the top level of the conference in a packed career.

Gavin Mahon. Picture: Joe Pepler

Gavin Mahon. Picture: Joe Pepler

But after being released by Notts County in the summer, he has spent his time training with his old club, as well as a week at AFC Wimbledon.

Now Pompey have offered Mahon the opportunity to play, with an initial month’s contract.

Having been an unused substitute in the 3-0 victory over Rochdale, the ex-Watford midfielder is in the frame for tonight’s trip to Oxford.

Guy Whittingham has admitted he will make changes for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy fixture, although not widespread.

And Mahon is poised to come into his first-team thinking for the Kassam Stadium encounter.

He said: ‘I am ready and I have trained all week,

‘I did some physical fitness work on Saturday morning which was good, so my general fitness is fine.

‘But no-one can compare match fitness to general fitness so hopefully I can be involved tonight.

‘I’m 36 now but feel I can still play football. I’m not ready to retire yet.

‘Training every day with the boys, the gaffer sees me day-in, day-out so knows my fitness.

‘He knows whether I need to do more or less and no doubt will be asking me how I am feeling.

‘It’s a month to start with, which is fine with me.

‘I just want to get cracking now, get my head down and push on.

‘My fitness levels aren’t bad, actually.

‘I got a full pre-season at Notts County and the last game I played was a development match there two-and-a-half weeks ago.

‘I trained at AFC Wimbledon the week before I came here because I know the manager there, so have sort of ticked over.

‘If we can keep the ball, pass it around and manage the game tonight we will be fine.

‘If we are chasing up and down, up and down, we will see how long I last!’

Mahon finished on the losing side for Brentford in the LDV Trophy final against Port Vale at the Millennium Stadium in April 2001.

The competition these days is known as the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

And now Mahon is relishing the chance to play again.

He added: ‘The chief scout at Notts County – Matt Alexander – had spoken to people down here who mentioned they needed one or two more experienced players and he put my name forward.

‘Portsmouth asked around what I was like, as a person and a player.

‘I think everything that came back was good so they had me down for a week’s training.

‘Only the week before I had been at Wimbledon for four days and had a good, tough week.

‘I was going to go back on the Monday – but then at the weekend was asked to go to Portsmouth instead and I jumped at it!’