All-Time Harriers XI: Defenders
Over the years there have been a lot of good defenders to pull on the Harriers shirt; some were here only briefly but made a big impression, such as Mark Clyde who played just four games on loan from the Wolves. Others had a lengthy spells with the club such as Colin Brazier who was coming towards the end of his career but still managed to fit in a call-up to the England Semi-Professional side and Craig Hinton who was one of the most popular players to ever to appear for the club, he was also one of the most reliable.
I could have picked Hinton here, or John Barton, and I was close to choosing Ian Clarkson but in the end I’ve plumped for Simeon Hodson who captained the club to the Conference title in 1994 and was ever-present in that side.
Left back has often been a position that Harriers have had trouble filling; there have been a number of decent players but very few ‘stand-out’ ones. John Barton and Paul Bancroft in the ’80s were more than competent, Archie Richards had three separate spells at the club, Kevin Collins was part of the side that went to Wembley in 1987. For me, though, the best is Scott Stamps.
Brought to the club by Jan Molby ahead of the 1999/2000 season he was an integral part of the championship winning side and was the regular left back for five seasons, four of them in The Football League, and few have come close to emulating him in the ten years since his departure.
Unlike left back, this is a position that has been strong over the last 30 years from the likes of Chris Jones in the early seasons in the Alliance Premier League to the current pairing of Josh Gowling and Chey Dunkley. This is another place that Hinton could have gone into the side, or I could have chosen current assistant manager Mark Creighton who was a true cult-hero.
The two players that I have chosen, though, were paired together when they played for Harriers and were a pair of rocks when the club was in the midst of some of the most successful seasons; they are Martin Weir and Chris Brindley.
Weir had already spent six seasons at the club and racked up over 300 appearances when Brindley arrived in 1992. For the next five-and-a-half seasons they were a near permanent fixture at the heart of the Harriers defence, only injury and suspension keeping them out. Together they saw the run to the FA Cup 5th Round and first Conference championship and the FA Trophy Final of 1995.
You might also like
Like Lee Fowler Jamie Tolley is 30, helping to raise the average age of the Harriers squad and add some more experience of playing at a higher level and in bigger matches.
All season long The Harrier, the matchday programme of the Harriers, has been asking for suggestions for an all-time Harriers team. Here’s mine, starting with the goalkeeper.