Along with the hardcore of faithful Hereford fans, I am hoping the new season will bring some exciting times for us all.
We will be watching a number of new players wearing the shirt for the Club with, I guess, at least seven new faces who will be regular performers in the squad, alongside a sprinkling of youth players drafted in to bolster squad numbers.
We all hope that at least one or two of the youth players can break into the first team during the forthcoming season. Much interest has stemmed from the progression of ex player Jarrod Bowen who has achieved international status. It would be fantastic to see another young Hereford player reach the heights of Premier League before too long. It must be remembered you have to start somewhere in the game, so why not at Edgar Street!
The National League North is a very competitive division, with many old established clubs plying their trade in it, alongside some ambitious newer formed teams. Promotion from this league is exceptionally difficult, with the champions plus a second team from a lengthy series of play off games going up. You need consistency plus an in depth squad to make it all the way through the season to gain promotion from this league.
There is obviously a degree of good fortune involved in having a good season. Staying clear of injuries, and players opting to move on for more lucrative offers, being major factors we face in our quest for progression.
It has been mentioned that maybe further financial investment will be required to assist our club in moving forwards. This may be a pre-requisite to maintain progress on the playing side of things. The need for full time status appears to becoming more and more necessary if the club is genuinely seeking to climb the ladder. Whether we can offer this under the present set up of the club remains to be seen.
Hereford fans want to see a squad of players prepared to provide attractive football, and demonstrate a willingness to give 100% effort at all times. One cannot ask for more than this at any club, but one hopes that it leads to further dividends in terms of success both on and off the field.
Fingers crossed this season will run without distractions from covid, or such like, which would affect the financial side and hamper progress. With a fair bit of negativity in this country with cost of living rises we could all do with some excitement to cheer us all up.
It is very pleasing to see that fans have backed the sales of season tickets and donated considerable sums of money into the squad building initiative, these are encouraging signs for the season, and potentially will continue to grow. The fund raising schemes will kick into place once the season begins and provide extra top ups to the budget as the season goes along.
We should see the Trust reach the target of 50% shareholding in the club, and thus see what impact this has in the running of Hereford FC. These are all positives for the future of the next season and in forthcoming years.
On the playing side it is good to see that we have developed some promising players over the last few seasons but disturbing that we lost a couple of key players who could have been under contract. It may be a selling point to other players, as they can see that Hereford can help them build their careers, but this should not become the norm!
Surely we must put players on contract so the club benefits financially if they are transferred to another club. Perhaps the extra investment mentioned will enable us to make this step forward.
For the moment we can all speculate on who we may sign, and where the squad will take us throughout next season.
As a fan of many years I wish us all good luck and enjoy what we can in terms of success both on and off the field.
Steve Hughes – Halesowen Bull.