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Football: Jess: I'll look after the kids.

EOIN JESS reckons it's time for him to become a father figureasheapproachesthe latter stages of his playing career.

The former Aberdeen star will play his 547th club match tomorrowwhenhe lines up for Nottingham Forest in their First Division game against Gillingham.

Jess, who won 18 full caps, hasbeenatop-team star for 16 years after breaking into the Pittodrie set-up as a teenager.

And the 32-year-old says he will draw inspiration from Dons legends Willie Miller and Alex McLeish as he approaches a new phase of his career.

Jess said: ``When you set out, you want to win trophies and play for your country and I have managed to do both.

``But I am feeling fit enough to carry on for a few more years yet and I just want to play as well as I can.

``When I first came into the side at Aberdeen, the likes of Willie and Alex helped me a great deal.

``We had an abundance of international stars. I was only 17 and they certainly made things a lot easier for me.

``Now that is what I have to do. All experienced players have to help the youngsters and ensure they develop good habits.''

Jess spent nine years at Pittodrie before moving to Coventry in 1996.

After a short spell at Highfield Road, Jess returned to the Granite City and enjoyed four seasons before moving to Bradford City.

The midfielder, who made his Scotland debut in 1993 against Italy, moved to Forest 18 months ago.

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FATHER FIGURE: Eoin Jess
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 19, 2003
Words:255
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