Mark Marshall has not ruled out returning to Barnet in January but wants to prove himself in 'the highest division possible'

Times Series: Marshall celebrates Barnet's League Two survival in 2011. Picture: Action Images Marshall celebrates Barnet's League Two survival in 2011. Picture: Action Images

Mark Marshall has not ruled out returning to Barnet when his two-year drugs ban comes to an end next month but admits he wants to prove himself in “the highest division possible”.

The winger was banned in January 2012 after he tested positive for the stimulant methylhexaneamine.

But Marshall, who made 84 appearances for the Bees during a two-year spell, is now close to a return.

He has been allowed to train with a club since October and can start playing again from next month.

“I am not going to say definitely I won’t return to Barnet because you never know what can happen,” Marshall said. “But I am only 26 and, like in any job, I want to go as high as I can.”

During his ban Marshall has spoken several times to Paul Fairclough. The Barnet director of football admitted he would like Marshal to return to Barnet but feels it is unlikely.

“I phoned Mark but the response I got wasn’t the one I wanted,” Fairclough said.

“It indicated to me, without him actually saying, that he had something bigger and better. That was disappointing because we kept a rapport going during his ban. It is a shame.

“So, as it stands, there are no plans for Mark Marshall to come back. I’d like him to because I think there would be a bond and he would have to prove himself.”

Marshall said he has a good relationship with everyone at Barnet and added: “What happened was unfortunate and I have always maintained if I had some more help then things would have been different.

“But I have got on with things and it has made me realize that I need to do what is best for me and my family because things can change very quickly.

“So I haven’t said I won’t go back to Barnet but I am looking to prove myself in the highest division possible and I can and I think people will understand that.”

Marshall will be able to return to action from January 19. He has maintained his fitness levels while being out of the sport and became a personal trainer.

It is a job which has helped him understand the more scientific side of football and he hopes to undertake a physiotherapy degree as well as playing for a club.

“Being a personal trainer has given me more insight and hopefully that will help me going forward,” Marshall explained:

“But I am just taking it one day at a time but I am excited to get back playing football. I don’t know how I will do when I return and you never know what can happen.

“There is no point in becoming anxious about coming back because I have had 23 months to think about it and some people may not have made it through that.”


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