HEREFORD manager Josh Gowling says that he will miss last year’s fans voted ‘player of the season’ Ben Pollock most out of all those leaving the club.

Seven of last season’s squad will remain for next season’s campaign with Yan Klukowski, Harry Pinchard, Ryan McLean, Jarred Hodgkiss, Ryan Lloyd, Miles Storey and Luke Haines all agreeing deals.

Last week Pollock, aged 24, from the North East rejected a Bulls offer and signed for National League North counterparts Boston United.


“There’s different reasons for players leaving and it’s not always about the financial side of things,” said Gowling.

“Ben (Pollock) when I spoke to him it was a hard conversation for him because we have a fantastic relationship.

“He’s had a lot of things going on in his personal life that I’ve supported him with.

“He had an opportunity to go nearer to home and spend more time with his family, obviously the money was also better.

“He goes with my blessing because he’s been an absolute fantastic servant for the football club.

“The first year he was here he wasn’t being paid and was travelling from Middlesbrough every other day to training.

“That showed the desire and commitment he had to play football.

“He’s probably the biggest one out of all of them that I’m going to miss because of the way he is.”

Tom Owen-Evans

Hereford Times: Tom Owen-Evans. Picture: Steve NiblettTom Owen-Evans. Picture: Steve Niblett

Tom Owen-Evans is the only other player who rejected an offer to stay at Hereford instead signing for local rivals Kidderminster Harriers.

Gowling said he expected the 25-year-old to go up a level in the football pyramid and that he wanted full-time football.

“If players go up to a higher level you say it is what it is,” added Gowling.

“I thought he was going to wait a bit longer as the National League play-offs only got done last week. I expected him to go up a level.

“But Kidderminster are full-time, he likes the environment there and the structure of the football club.

“Full-time football to him was key, it wasn’t about the money or anything of that sort and Kidderminster could offer him that so that’s why he has gone.

“It’s annoying that we’ve lost players to Brackley, Kidderminster, York and Boston as that’s where we’re aspiring to get up to that end of the table and compete with those guys,

“It is frustrating to lose players to those but I’m an internal optimist.

“It shows what we’re doing at the football club and that we’re developing players.

“It shows that we’re spotting players and that they are attractive to other clubs because of the way that we play.

“It’s now my job to get more of those in, progress us further and make sure we are better this year than we were last year.”

New faces

The search is now on for Gowling to recruit the remainder of his squad over the coming weeks with the first pre-season friendly taking place on July 9 at Hednesford Town.

“Of course, we are going to have some trialists in,” added Gowling.

“I’m speaking to people. I’m up and down the country every day speaking to players and trying to get them in.”