Barry Proud To Be On Verge Of Premier League History
Gareth Barry has said it will be a proud moment for him when he writes his name down in the Premier League history books with a 633rd top flight appearance.
Having equalled Ryan Giggs' record of 632 in the last game against West Ham United, should (he will) take to the pitch on Monday when we face Arsenal he will be in top spot and you'd have to doubt if anyone might ever reach whatever appearance record he goes on to make before he hangs his boots up.
Speaking to wba.co.uk as he met with the media today to preview the upcoming game, the England international faced plenty of questions about his 19 year career that took in spells with Aston Villa, Manchester City and Everton before he arrived at The Hawthorns, and he admitted he never dreamt of achieving a feat as significant in Premier League history as this one.
'When you make your debut as a young kid you're never setting yourself a target like this. Even when you play 500 games you think you're coming to the end of your career and you're not expecting to play many more games.'
He went on to say.
'When I think back to playing my first game to hitting this number I'm about to reach, everything seems to have gone so quickly in between. It's certainly something that when I do end up finishing I'll sit back and be really proud of. I'll try and take in what's happened in between a little bit more! I'm really proud to have been able to keep going. I think it's helped me to take it a season at a time and keep myself in the best shape I can.'
With plenty of talk in the modern game about motivation given the ridiculous wages some players now receive, Barry admitted his own motivation was pretty easy even though he boasts a Premier League winners medal, an FA Cup winners medal and over 50 national caps.
'There's no better feeling than running out there with your teammates and trying to win a game of football. Any ex-player will tell you that it's a great feeling when that final whistle goes and you've won a game of football together as a team. I'm going to miss that when I do finish, so while I still can be involved in a top league with a team like West Brom I'm going to keep enjoying it.'
Barry was quick to add though Monday wasn't about him at all, it was about trying to take three points from Arsene Wenger's side.
'The number I'll achieve is an individual one. Football is a team game. My family will be at the game but there won't be a smile on my face after anything other than a positive result! As crazy as it sounds after all these years, my focus will be on winning the game.'