Ivan Toney 'fell out of love with football' during betting ban

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Ivan Toney 'fell out of love with football' during betting ban
Photo: @ivantoney24

Brentford striker Ivan Toney has admitted to "falling out of love with football" for a while during his eight-month betting ban.

The 27-year-old is approaching the end of his eight month ban for betting offences, having admitted to over 200 breaches of FA gambling rules last year.

Toney has been training with his team-mates since September, but for the first four months of his suspension he wasn't allowed to participate in any footballing activities whatsoever.

In an interview with Sky Sports, the former Newcastle United striker has opened up about his football exile ahead of his impending Brentford return.

I didn't watch football for a while, for a month and a bit. I'd only really watch Brentford games but I would flick it on now and then, just listening in the background for the chances or the scoreline, things like this.

Before that, I was watching every single Premier League game possible. Every League One and League Two game on TV, obviously coming from those leagues.

In a way, I kind of punished myself, not watching games. Then I realised: That's not really helping me, the situation is done. So watch football, enjoy it, and know when you get back, you've got things to do.

Mentally it was tough, but I think I'm quite strong in that sense. I don't let things get to me, so I brushed it aside and continued where I was going.

There was a stage where I fell out of love with football, a bit. But then football is all that I know really. Playing football from a young age, it's what I'm used to.

Missing the game for a while and not being around my team-mates was tough. I feel like I'm a big personality in the dressing room, I like to make others happy and bring others up and just try to be a fun character around the whole training ground.

Toney's ban ends on January 17, and the Englishman will be available for Brentford's clash with Nottingham Forest three days later.

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