Hereford brought in the 28-year-old James Caton into their squad at the end of last week, with the winger making his debut for the Bulls in a 1-1 draw at the Impact Arena against Alfreton Town.

Simon Wright pens this Talking Bull introduction.

There’s several familiar or less themes in a Josh Gowling signing. The arrival of James Caton ticks the cars, coaching and (overlooked) career boxes.

Our Gaffer used to have a car leasing business. Max Kouyhar used to sell cars. So did Pa Sulay Njie and its to be hoped he was more creditable at shifting metal than he was at inflating his CV. Our latest arrival reintroduces the car theme as he runs a successful vehicle leasing business in his hometown of Widnes.

Ah Widnes. Nudge Josh a little bit and he might just remember his night at Widnes rugby club where, in a central league reserve game, he and Tam Mkandawire tried vainly to stop a 16-year-old Wayne Rooney. Everton reserves won comfortably in front of 3,000 Evertonians waving their Rooney merchandise excitedly,

Anyway, our Arsenal supporting new wide man also boosts our ranks of qualified coaches. If Hereford FC suddenly decided to become a coaching/ mentoring rather than a football business, most of our contracted people could easily adjust. James Caton chose a different coaching route. He has a degree in football management and coaching from UCFB (University Campus of Football Business) at their Etihad Campus.

Talking to UCFB he said “My time at UCFB has been fantastic. Very difficult – which is expected when doing a degree – but the difficulty has been worth it to have finally graduated with a 2:1 in Football Coaching & Management. It has been the biggest achievement of my life so far in my opinion, eclipsing making my debut in the Championship at 19 for Blackpool FC. This is due to the sheer work load, commitment and challenges that doing a degree entails.”

He’s also – this is becoming an impressive list – a qualified personal trainer and has demonstrated his skills over the past six years.

In his younger days, Caton was a decent rugby player and a core part of a Widnes school team which reached Wembley in 2009 for the Carnegie Champion Schools final.

And yes, there is a football CV too. James Alan Kenneth Caton is 28, a winger with a rather stop start 110 games behind him. His last goal was in 2018 so that’s obviously not his forte. After 9 years of trying to impress at the Bolton Wanderers Academy, there was a guided tour of most North-West clubs with a couple of unexpected periods at Darlington, Shrewsbury and Dover. You’d have to imagine various family connections for a native North Westerner to travel so far.

His last football experience was a dozen games with part time Dover last season. The Kent club ground their way painfully into Step One relegation, losing almost every week. In his twelve appearances for the south coast club, Dover lost ten and drew two.

Caton admitted that “this was probably the toughest season I’ve ever been involved in. I have had a very stop/start season due to unfortunate injuries.”

Hereford is his thirteenth club. “He’ll bring a bit of quality to the final third,” added Gowling.

“He’s a strong boy who is hungry to do well. He’s been around the group for a few weeks already, so I am pleased with this acquisition.”

Our football club need cover for Ryan Mclean and Miles Storey, so our new signing makes sense.

The Northern car pool contingent will be pleased to have an extra member to cut costs.

All the best James.

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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