Luke Graham believes Martin Foyle will set Hereford United back on an even keel (From Hereford Times)
Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting HT NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Luke Graham believes Martin Foyle will set Hereford United back on an even keel
HEREFORD United’s new centre-back Luke Graham is sure that the club’s new boss Martin Foyle is the man to set the Bulls back on an even keel.
The 26-year-old has already seen what Foyle can do at close quarters as he played under the former Port Vale boss at York City.
And he is sure that he has made the right choice in coming to Edgar Street , even though it has meant leaving a Forest Green side who are tipped to be among the promotion challengers this season.
“It was a big decision to leave a club which is definitely going to be around the top five this year,” said Graham.
“I felt, though, that it was right to work under Martin again at Hereford and a different challenge.
“It is a transitional period here and I feel it’s the right choice for me — I hope that we can push on and have a good season and then we can go from there.
“I know how he works and I know he is very honest and I just had a good feeling about it.
“Martin brought me to York and is a very honest guy. He says it how it is.
“There are managers who say they are going to do one thing but then they don’t — the thing with Martin is that he does tell it how it is; he won’t lie or hide behind things.
“He did not say that we were going to have a fantastic budget and that we were going to do a Crawley or a Fleetwood.
“He said that it was going to take time to adjust and he said to me that he felt that this year I could add big value to it, get the right people in and get the team pushing on this season, hopefully around the playoffs.
“And if we don’t go up this year then next year we can certainly have a better budget and keep bringing the right people that he wants to the club and keep building for the long term.
“At York, Martin got good players in on average money and did a fantastic job. I see a very similar situation here.”
Although still a relatively young man, Graham, who learned his trade under Colin Calderwood at Northampton Town, has experienced plenty of success.
“I was at Kettering for a It felt right to work for Martin again at United The HerefordTimes Big Interview — Richard Prime meets Luke Graham “It is a transitional period here and I feel it’s the right choice for me — I hope that we can push on and have a good season and then we can go from there.”
Luke looks forward to different challenge couple of years where we finished runners-up and then managed to win the league and get back into the Conference,” he said.
“I then moved on to York where we got to the Conference play-off final and, the following year, I played in the play-off final with Luton as well.
“I moved on for various reasons to do what was best for my career and last year I went back to where my journey in adult football started at Forest Green.
“It was a very progressive year for the club with one of the best finishes and one of the best defences they have ever had.”
Despite the success at the New Lawn last season, there were frustrations for Graham, who has the unusual accomplishment of representing two international sides, Wales and the Republic of Ireland, at junior level.“While I wouldn’t say that at 26 I’m an old man, the manager there is very keen on pushing young players through,” he said.
“He has a couple of young centre-halves there who are in the England ‘C’ squad that he has high hopes for.
He is more willing to push them on and I felt that a bit frustrating at times.
“I know that my performances last season, following on from York and Luton, were of a good standard and I am very critical of myself.
“I often found myself left out of the team after a clean sheet or a man-of-the-match performance which I had never had in my career before, so I knew that something was not quite right.”
The level-headed Graham is already looking beyond football to see what his next career might be.
Already a qualified coach, he is now studying journalism at Staffordshire University, following the same course as former Bulls goalkeeper Matt Baker did a few years back.
“At school, I had an academic background and was always interested in things,”
“I had finished my UEFA ‘A’ licence and had done diplomas in sports psychology and sports science.
“I found out from a couple of other footballers who had been on this course at Staffordshire University and who said it was distance- learning and that they incorporated footballers into it.
“I just felt that it was the right time — I am 26 now and hopefully at the peak of my career — to try to add that string to my bow.
“I had always been interested in watching the news and watching reporters, listening to commentary and watching things being presented.
“I had always thought that I could be good at something like that and I am really enjoying it so far.”
Bulls fans can j u d g e G r a h a m ’ s w r i t i n g skills by logging on to his w e e k l y blog, which has already proved popular with its peeks behind the scenes at Edgar Street.
Log on to herefordtimes.
com on Fridays for his take on life as a footballer at Hereford.