Team GB star who was on Chelsea’s books received Championship ‘offer’ last year
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Former Chelsea footballer Adam Gemili has revealed he came close to dramatic return to the sport after a poor year on the track in Team GB colours.
The 29-year-old was on the books at Stamford Bridge for seven years as a youngster before joining Reading at the age of 15. He later represented League Two team Dagenham and Redbridge before the speedster deciding on a career in athletics in 2012.
It'a fair to say the decision has since proved justified. Gemili has since won gold medals at World and European Championship level, as well as two silvers at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Last season proved a difficult one though, with the sprinter eliminated in the 200m heats at the latest World Championships in Oregon.
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He suffered the same fate at the Commonwealth event in Birmingham, and has now claimed the failures left him seeking a return to the round ball game. And Gemili revealed offers were on the table from established professional sides as well.
"Football was what I came from originally, so that was one of the options for me," he said, via the BBC. "I was going back to football. I reached out to a few clubs and they said, 'Come and do some training with us'. "I can't say the clubs. There was a Championship club, there was a League One club, no Premier League clubs yet but maybe one day."
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To exacerbate his dip in form, the star also clashed with UK Athletics chiefs over his use of coach Rana Reider. The pair has since split and the American is currently under investigation amid multiple complaints of sexual misconduct, which he has denied.
Gemili was then cut from the list of UK athletes to receive the maximum level of funding, and admits the ordeal was "stressful." However, following a second placed finish at the World Indoor Tour in Birmingham on the weekend, he's now opted to target a place at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
"I sat down with my family and friends and we decided I've still got a lot more I want to give in this sport," he said. "I've always been close and I know I believe, if I can get myself in shape, I can run with the best.
"I'm finding that love again. I don't make any money out of the sport, I'm not sponsored, but I love it. I've been in the sport a long time and there's still a lot I want to achieve. We'll get to Paris [2024 Olympics] and then after Paris we'll reassess."
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