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Iversen's 'burn out' fears

Posted on 15 August 2000  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

Steffen Iversen admits he's worried about suffering from 'burn out' as he prepares to play for his country just three days before the start of the Premiership season. The striker flew directly from Amsterdam to meet up with his Norwegian team-mates after our friendly win against Vitesse Arnhem in Holland on Saturday.

Norway face Finland in an international on Wednesday and Iversen is not expected back at Spurs Lodge until Friday. The Premiership opener is next against Ipswich on Saturday before trips to Middlesbrough on Tuesday then Newcastle on Saturday. Two weeks, four games, little rest and plenty of air miles.

Although proud to play for his country, Iversen admitted: "It's just before the season starts so I think it's a little bit naughty because all the English players are going over there to play, come back Friday, play Saturday, again on Tuesday and then the Saturday after.

"It doesn't do us any favours. First of all we've already played a lot of games in pre-season and now we have another international three days before the season starts.

"I think we play far too many games. We will play 38 league games, then say 10 more if we do well in the cups then we have the national team as well. It's a lot of games and it's getting harder and harder. I think you will see players ending their career by 30-years-old because it is too hard for them.

"The young players coming through now and playing for the national team play almost 60 games a year. You can't keep doing that for 10 years like players used to before."

Iversen, 23, warned of the effects of burn-out in an interview with the Official Spurs Website while on tour in Sweden and again when he took the hotseat for a Q&A session.

He said: "Looking back to the season we've just had followed by the European Championships in the summer, it left me with three weeks holiday. That means I'm training and playing games for 49 weeks in a year and that is too much.

"I don't think I can handle playing in the Premiership and the national team for the next four or five years. I don't think I've got that much in me. I felt at the end of last season that I was suffering from burn out. I tried to do my best in training but I just didn't have any more to give. In the last four or five games I couldn't play more than one half because I had nothing left for the second half. I once came in at half-time and almost fainted.

"It is hard work in the Premiership and when we don't have a game, we are with the national team. It is very tough but you have to keep your head up, do your best in every game and see how far you get."