GARY KEEDY has warned young cricketers to start considering sooner rather than later what they are going to do after their sporting career ends.
Keedy has spent the last six years studying to become a physiotherapist, and as well as giving him an occupation when his career ends, the 38-year-old believes he is fitter than ever thanks to a better understanding of the human body.
"I qualified about a month ago and I'm just slowly getting together all my certificates, five-and-a-half years it has taken me," Keedy said.
"But in terms of my own playing career it is something that has helped me understand my body a little bit more.
"I've talked about age being a barrier, but at 38 I feel fitter and stronger than I did at 28.
"The sports medicine side of cricket is a lot more advanced than it has ever been and I want to use that to my advantage and play certainly well into my 40s."
And Keedy, who spent 17 years at Lancashire, has called on young cricketers to think about their future beyond cricket – admitting his career has flown by.
"I think any young cricketers now should be thinking about what they want to do when they finish because, believe me, ten years has just flown," Keedy said.
"All of a sudden you are in a position where you are wondering what you are going to do if you aren't playing cricket.
"It has taken me seven years; I did two years at Open University, and it has put me in a position to at least be ready.
"I want to work in sport, as many physiotherapists do, and having 20 years already in professional sport I would like to think I have a bit of a head-start."
However, he is not moving into full-time physiotherapy just yet and the experienced bowler, who joined Surrey from Lancashire this summer, insists the Kia Oval was the only place he wanted to go.
"My circumstances changed last year, I wasn't playing and I want to play as much cricket as I can at the end of my career. I didn't think twice about coming," Keedy said.
"When I first made the decision to ask Lancashire if I could leave, Surrey was it, I didn't speak to anyone else, Surrey was the club."