Following the news that Josh Gowling and Steve Burr have signed new 2-year contracts to remain at the helm of Hereford FC at Edgar Street, Simon Wright is stunned. Cock-a-hoop in fact. Our Gaffers are apparently football-sexy!
I’ve read with much envy in recent weeks about senior Non-League clubs signing their key personnel on contracts. It’s the usual suspects in our League – Chester, Darlington, Boston et al – the outfits who can cast realistic eyes upwards. It was the same process last summer.
Contracts matter. Whilst not an absolute guarantee of retention, contracts are real statements of intent. Simply “We rate that individual and we want to retain his services”. For the individual, its security and reassurance, certainty in uncertain terms. Most contracts are for one year, only a special few land the luxury of a 24-month deal. I particularly noticed that the Woking manager Dowson, whose team was outwitted by ours and are having a shocking run, was rewarded with a new contract – a full time one at that.
I had the impression that Hereford FC did things differently. Our Board have to work around available finance which I understand. Yet I missed the absence of that statement marker and was all too conscious of talent grabbers. Edgar Street clubs have a wretched history of star men being allowed to up sticks without any recompense.
Today’s announcements of two-year deals for Josh and Steve stunned me. Wow! Did I like that. I’m cock-a-hoop. Two years. At one go.
That’s a rarity at Edgar Street for anyone in recent decades. Our guys (and they really are Ours now) have remarkably assembled a smooth-running squad from the most unlikely sources and taken us to Wembley. Quite how they’ve done it, I am at a loss to explain. As a double act, our Gaffers are football-sexy. I’m all too aware that they were getting noticed. A “hands off, they’re ours” statement is an uplifting moment for all Bulls supporters. In our management, we trust. Been a while since we said that.
There can be exciting times ahead, both on the pitch and off it. An opportunity to put Josh’s ideas into practice around bringing fans and players together, retrieving some form of youth football, genuine community activity and so on.. Getting the dynamic duo signed up is the catalyst.
It’s a good time to support the Bulls. The Wembley ticket allocation is decent enough. More is always better though 3,000 is sufficient to reward the folks who invest the time and money to keep our club going. Our sponsors, volunteers and regular attenders are rightly top priority. There will be some regulars who cannot or will not travel of course so there is some flexibility to look after as many folks as possible. Pleasing that our club get to sell tickets rather than faceless organisations elsewhere. Hereford FC have the information who’s done what and when and can plan accordingly. If help is needed with logistics, help will be given. The biggest issue may be capacity for lateral flow tests on one day in Herefordshire. Make that appointment now.
And me? On a flying visit to Hereford yesterday, I stood at the open Emergency Exit door and just gazed inside.
My first view of the Edgar Street interior for 15 months.
I even had a Butty Bach to celebrate this vista. When you’re hungry, any crumb is a treat.
Like I said, good times to be a Bull.