The arrival of a young defender on a months’ loan is rather surprising, but Reece is a contracted WBA player and so will undoubtedly have benefitted greatly from his years in the Baggies Academy under Richard Beale.

Reece is 20, and this season has played at centre back with some games at right back. In previous seasons, he was tried out in midfield. He is captain of the WBA U21’s and previously captained the U18’s. WBA Academy players receive extensive media training and are extremely guarded around social media so no revelations or insight to be gathered there. I checked.

He is a former team mate of Mo Faal and Aurio Teixeira. There lies the difference. While Faal and Teixeira have learnt the hard way about the muck and bullets of adult football, Hall remains a virgin around mens soccer. To be aged 20 without a single first team game feels ominous at a club where the wage bill is 115% of club income. The queue of players in front of him at WBA gives him a huge challenge.

For Reece, it’s a precious first entry on his CV and a headlong immersion into a world where livelihoods and mortgages are at stake. A world with a critical audience and a critical surface (most of his 28 Premier league 2 games would be behind closed doors on perfect pitches).

Reece Hall may not be a stranger to Edgar Street. He may have been part of the WBA squad in their pre-season friendly. As the Baggies did not supply a team list, it’s hard to be sure.

For Hereford the benefit is not so clear. As we know only too well, rookies need several games to adjust by which time they are saying their goodbyes.

Our fixture list between now and January 16 is not overloaded. For once. Neither are we in obvious need of a rookie central defender or right back, unless there are issues which are not yet public. These positions are filled and covered by more than competent experienced performers.

There is the rather unfortunate messaging to our Community U18 hopefuls and their parents. In their ranks are young defenders who already play in adult football. Yes, its Step 5 but even so that is a big step up from no audience, no pressure, no reward U21 games. One player who is just 18 has over 40 appearances in step 5 football already. That quality experience could have gone to one of our own at no cost.

So more questions than answers.

Perhaps this is a long-term political move to re-open links with a big club rich in young talent? Given that Paul Downing’s brother Leigh is the U18 manager, I’m surprised that door isn’t already open.

We welcome Reece and hope his time at Edgar Street benefits everyone. Perhaps he will be drafted into the squad immediately ahead of the match against Spennymoor tomorrow.

Spennymoor Town (

Simon Wright


By Editor

Lifelong Hereford supporter who has endured the rise and fall of the club through progressive generations. Sports journalist, broadcaster and commentator who will never forget his Edgar Street roots.

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