Hail The Chief

It’s common wisdom in this here league that the inclusion of a sprinkling of grizzled veterans are necessary for success. Definitely a one-thousand-yard starer is required at centre back, according to all the pundits, and another in the middle. The jury remains undecided whether a senior striker is also essential.

Escaping from the frozen North, Jamie Vincent acts as half our quota while at Telford, news leaked that the HFC defensive deficiency is in decline with the arrival of Krystian Pearce. Way back when in his Birmingham FC Academy days, one of his coaches called him the ‘Chief” and the name stuck.

Sign of the tight times that a fit 31-year-old Chief with well over 400 appearances at a decent level cannot find another full-time job. A look at his footballing CV does indicate a gentle decline in status, an inexorable slide away from fitness being your only employment.

The adjustment must be so hard to accept after 14 years as a professional. His debut was for Notts County way back in 2007. Having been without a club for 4 months at the back end of last year, the six-foot defender presumably learnt the hard way about grabbing whatever was on offer. He was contracted to Boreham Wood FC (or “Boring Wood”, according to their neighbours) until June 2022 so one can only presume a mutual agreement led to his release this summer. Just speculation of course but the most likely reason for early termination are the practicalities of getting to and from his Birmingham base.

And … probably the real incentive for our newbie is that he owns and runs a football Academy in Perry Barr, Birmingham for 4- to 13-year-olds. The ‘Barr” is just a few miles from Hereford’s training centre in Walsall. The symmetry works for him .. and Hereford FC. Going part-time enables him to give more time to his other interests.

There is possible soothing balm with Josh’s “get ‘em back playing, standing out and back into the pro game” surgery. In truth, the surgery has a waiting list of patients already. What a cosmopolitan bunch too! An Afghan international, a should-be Albanian international (Bury refused to release Zeli when called up) and a dual citizenship of Dutch and Togoan (the mysteriously low profile Fini). To which we can add a defender who has played for both England and Barbados. There will be lurid stories and unusual recipes aplenty being exchanged on long trips North.

Unusually, there is no obvious link between new boy Pearce and our management. No games for Kidderminster for instance or any old mates already within our squad. A portent of our clubs’ urgent need having to be met outside these familiar comfort zones.

Interestingly, Krystian co-hosts a Birmingham-based football podcast called “No Tekkers” . If you’re reading this Krystian, here’s an offer.

Radio Hereford will send guests to your podcast if you guest at ours, staged in Halesowen so just down the road for you…. How does that sound?

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