Thu, Dec

COCKTAILS on the beach beckon for Russell Latapy, but he's not ready to Singapore Sling his hook for a good while yet.

The closest The Little Magician gets to golden sands at the moment is when he is playing at Falkirk Stadium and the ball is booted into the building site on the north side.

And that's the way he likes it.

His dream of relaxing on a beach, cocktail in hand, watching the sun slowly set is currently on hold because he's simply enjoying himself too much to consider hanging up his hallowed boots.

Latapy loves football and he loves playing for the Bairns. The good feeling around the club is stoking the fire in his heart and helping to keep his evergreen feet dancing their way around the first division.

"I'm having fun playing at Falkirk," he said. "I need to keep my body going, but when you're winning the adrenaline takes you through. There's also a good feeling about the stadium and the town and everything's working well.

"I've been fortunate in the game. I've played for decent clubs and I've won things. The last couple of years before I came to Falkirk were not the most fun of my career. I wanted to end my career on a good note, which is happening now.

"If I can carry on and we do well in the SPL that would be an even better note to finish on."

However, the 36-year-old Trinidad and Tobago legend stresses that will depend on how limber he is feeling and, indeed, if gaffer John Hughes still wants him to weave his magic for Falkirk.

He insisted: "I love football, I want to play, but I don't want to cheat the club and I don't want to cheat the manager. So I will make a decision at the end of the season because my body is going to determine how long I'm going to play on.

"I'm actually looking forward to sitting on the beach, sipping cocktails!"

The younger Latapy was no stranger to the front pages of the tabloids as well as the back, but he told the Herald that he was now older and wiser.

"With age comes experience," he smiled. "When I was younger I could do whatever I wanted and still go out and play. The honest truth is I cannot anymore so I have to look after myself a bit better. I've always been one of those people who enjoy life and I will always enjoy my life, I just do it at different times now.

"If I can make a positive contribution to the advancement of Falkirk FC then that's the only thing that matters to me. If the manager, fans and everybody at the club are happy, then I'm happy."

Latapy is currently focused on helping Falkirk clinch promotion, not worrying about his own situation.

He said: "It might be a conversation with Yogi where I say to him that I cannot play the whole season, but it's early doors to talk about that. I think the most important issue right now is to try to help Falkirk into the SPL. I love football.

Everything I have in my life is through football."

So, Russell, cocktails on the beach or the SPL with Falkirk?

"Football at the moment," chuckles Latapy, as he looks forward to the next game for his beloved Bairns.