The EFL’s oldest players still alive and kicking
Many of the great footballers tend to slow down when they hit 30-years old. It is an age in which many players begin to lose a step and struggle to keep up with much younger opposition.
In the cases of EFL players Dannie Bulman and Kevin Ellison, age has only made them love the game more. Bulman and Ellison are the EFL’s oldest players currently and could extend their records of age into the 2020-21 season.
The two players have spent much of their careers in lower league football and most recently, competed in League Two. Ellison, 41, is currently without a club after his contract with Morecambe expired this month. The midfielder played 349 games for Morecambe between 2011 and 2020.
Ellison has admitted his chances of playing in the EFL are likely slim going forward and is already looking to continue his career in non-league football. With his experience and ability to help young players, it is likely that Ellison will find a role at a non-league team.
Bulman, who is 23 days older than Ellison, played for League Two’s Crawley Town this past season. The midfielder signed a one-year contract to remain at the club last summer but now word has emerged yet over whether another season will be offered. Remarkably, Bulman began playing professionally at the age of 15 with non-league club Ashford Town. At 19, he got his shot at League One football with Wycombe Wanderers after moving for £10,000.
The longevity of both Bulman and Ellison has been incredible. The two players have seen almost everything, except a move to a Premier League club, and still, have plenty to offer. Whether both move to non-league or Bulman remains in the EFL, there is much young players can learn from the duo.
Speaking to the BBC in 2019, Bulman gave young players some good advice about keeping their carers going over the years.
“As an 18-year-old going into the professional game, you don’t really think about the award of ‘oldest player in the EFL'”, Bulman said.
“You need to cut back on a few things and try to aid the body to recover as quickly as possible.
“You’ve got to look after yourself. I don’t do gym or yoga. I couldn’t tell you the magic formula but I just keep going.
“I’ve had a massive diet change from when I was 18, but at that age, you can eat whatever you want and get away with it. Now I don’t eat as much – but little and often.”