Ahead of the clash with Hereford tomorrow we catch up with Vital Hereford editor Skeets to get his views on the game.
How long have you supported the Bulls?
I’ve been a loyal Hereford fan since 1969 when my dad finally persuaded me to watch my local team rather than the ‘big teams on the tele’. However, the first game I can actually remember was a 1970/7171 FA Cup 4th Qualifying round tie when United thrashed old rivals Kidderminster Harriers 5-0 at Edgar Street. Billy Meadows netted a hat-trick and even parka coats hadn’t been invented then!
John Charles, Colin Addison, John Sillett, Tony Ford, Mike Bailey, Frank Lord, Tommy Hughes, John Newman, Ian Bowyer, Greg Downs, John Layton and Graham Turner have all taken their turn in the hot-seat since.
Paul Maddy v Bury 6/3/85
Former ‘slimline’ winger Chris Fry being subjected to cries of ‘who ate all the lettuce.’
Dixie McNeil in the mid-70s.
The Third Division Championship celebrations in April 1976, the joyous scenes at the Walkers Stadium in May 2006 as United regained League status, and no Bulls fan will ever forget last term when Hereford got promoted up into League One only two years after getting back into the elite!
Do you think Graham Turner is the right man for the job?
Despite the doom and gloom of looming relegation, his record of two promotions in three seasons is amazing for a club of our size and catchment area. And with his chairman’s hat-on he has overseen a massive turnaround in the clubs financial fortunes. Unbelievably Hereford have posted annual profits for the last 5 years!
However, he will now be under pressure to ensure he puts together a promotion hunting squad for the 2009-10 League Two campaign, and hassle the local council and the developers to kick-start the regeneration of the Edgar Street stadium. In my view that will be the acid test.
How did former Tranmere loanee Godwin Antwi do for you lot?
Antwi started off in sensational style against Leeds United at Edgar Street. He came into the club at literally 6pm not knowing any of the players names, and yet completely shut-out the Leeds targetman Luciano Becchio with a man-of-the-match performance. However, he could not reproduce that and returned to Anfield after a month spell.
And Jennison Myrie Williams?
He has produced some sublime skill at times, but for my money he’s not in the game enough. With his speed and ball control he should be demanding possession. Occasionally he does not track back sufficiently, nor go searching for the ball. Whether he has done enough to convince Bulls boss Graham Turner that he deserves a contract offer for next season remains to be seen.
Where do you think Tranmere will be at the end of the season?
Looking at your home form, I think you’ll sneak into the play-offs. It’s a lottery from there!
Where do you think Hereford will be at the end of the season?<BR>
We are now relegation certainties as five consecutive wins is realistically out-of-the-question.
The initial high on the back of automatic promotion from League Two dissipated fairly quickly with a growing realisation that the standard in the 3rd tier was much higher than thought.
An inability to match the transfer fees and wage demands of high profile strikers has proved to be our undoing throughout the campaign and, although Graham Turner has once again worked tirelessly in the loan market, the side has lacked consistency.
We have been beleaguered by injuries at key times. Top class players like Matt Murray and Bruno N’Gotty were drafted in at high cost, but our luck has been well and truly absent as they both picked up near career threatening injuries.
Despite this we’ve competed pretty well throughout the whole campaign, with many critics claiming we’ve only been a couple of players away from having a genuine League One squad.
Its not all doom and gloom at Edgar Street as we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience of visiting some terrific stadia, and the highs on the pitch have to be our 5-0 thrashing of Oldham Athletic, a 2-0 home win over the once mighty Leeds United, and doubles over Carlisle United and near neighbours Cheltenham Town.
Who’s your best player this season
Top scorer Steve Guinan has been the most consistent. He always puts in a full shift, and remains the instigator of chances in the final third.
Peter Gulacsi has proved to be a top-class goalkeeper in the making. His arrival on-loan from Liverpool has been too late in the season to make a major difference. If only we’d had him throughout.
Toumani Diagouraga continues to be the Bulls engine room in midfield, but as far as I’m concerned Matty Done has the most potential.
He’s got the creativity and spark needed to get past defenders, but he’s another whose picked up an injury at a crucial time and might make the subs bench for Prenton Park.
And your worst player?
Nick Chadwick, who simply failed to deliver. We expected far more from an ex-Everton and Plymouth player.
Still only 26 he appeared very unfit, and scored just once (from the penalty spot) in 12 appearances. Fortunately he’s now been ‘snapped up’ by Shrewsbury!
And finally, your prediction for the game.
Our resident tipster, and former Bulls legend Ricky George, predicts a 1-1 draw which would not be a good result for either side in truth.
Editor of Vital Hereford United
Vital Tranmere would like to thank ‘Skeets’ for taking time out to participate in this interview.