JAMES Constable has hit the books this week at the start of course he hopes will keep him in football.

Oxford United’s second all-time top-scorer was due to be on a residential course in Gloucestershire, but coronavirus means he is beginning the lengthy UEFA B Licence course remotely.

The 35-year-old is loving it – and just wishes he had been done it during his professional career.

“If someone could have got hold of me ten years ago and told me the things I’ve learned in the last 12 months it would have made a huge difference,” he said.

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“Instead of sat watching box sets there’s so much you could be using your time to do in terms of learning and getting qualifications.

“It is tough, when you’ve played and get to 35 you don’t have a massive amount of qualifications.

“You’re applying for jobs and it’s not necessarily what you want to do, but you obviously need an income.”

Constable hung up his boots in the full-time game to concentrate on his family, with daughter Mollie needing regular trips to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

But with her rare eye condition improving following an operation, it has allowed the former striker to assess his options.

After waiting to get on the sought-after course, he had feared the lockdown would mean another delay.

But with plenty of coursework to go through, the sessions on the grass have taken a backseat until conditions improve.

Constable has good friend and former U’s teammate Asa Hall among his classmates, who also include former Portsmouth and Manchester City forward Benjani.

He said: “There’s a range of players from different levels, so it’s great to bounce ideas off them.

“It really just opens up opportunities you can hopefully take moving forward.

“I’m not ruling anything out.

“I would just love to stay in football in some capacity and it’s just about figuring out what suits me.

“I would definitely want to go down the coaching route, dip my toe in and learn as much as I could take.

“The management side hopefully comes after you’ve ticked all the boxes.”

And with many squads, including United’s furloughed at the moment, Constable urged them to use the time productively.

He said: “Especially now, players are stuck at home and there’s so many online courses you can take.

“I did a talent ID course a year ago online, so you can get an FA qualification after three or four hours on the computer.

“It’s a message that can be missed.”