HEREFORD manager Josh Gowling said that signing young defender Mark Derricott and Harrison Summers was a ‘no brainer’ after both youngsters impressed him during pre-season.

Central defender Derricott has graduated from the club’s under-18 side last season and Gowling says he has been ‘absolutely fantastic’ progressing into the first team.

“He’s come through our youth set-up, he trained with us a bit last season,” said Gowling. “You never know how lads are going to be in a first team environment on a regular basis.

“He’s taken to it like a duck to water, he steps in well, he talks really well for his age. As a centre-half that’s probably the last part of the game you get with experience, but he’s got it already at the young age of 18-19.

“He’s played a lot of games in pre-season. The majority of our games were against teams in the league below and he hasn’t looked out of place at all.

“When you look at lads like that you have to get them signed up. If I was a Football League club looking for under-23s he would be perfect.

 Meanwhile Summers played as a striker for Westfields last season scoring a host of goals, but Gowling sees him as a talented full-back.

“Harrison (Summers) scored bags of goals last year at Westfields, we’re going to covert him to a different position than he’s played before,” added Gowling.

“Again he’s the same, he’s a young lad, tenacious who has come into the group. The other lads like them both. The big litmus test for them two was how the lads reacted to them.

“They have got the respect from the lads already within the squad. For me they were a no brainer to make sure they are signed and with us for the forthcoming season.”

Both Derricott and Summers will remain training with the Bulls for the season but could be loaned out to clubs in non-league step three and four so they are ready to be called into the first team.

“They’re going to be training with us, but whether or not we send them out on loan for a period they are still going to train with us while they’re on loan,” added Gowling.

“I think it’s important that they keep with us, our DNA, our philosophy and keep them with good habits. I’ve got high standard.

“Mark for example we’ve got Orrin (Pendley) who is not playing so we’ve got cover in that area. Mark might be one where we give him games in the league below to get him minutes in men’s football.

“For me those two if we had a couple of injuries tomorrow I don’t think I’d have any problem putting them in. But we need to get them getting as many minutes as possible so that when that happens they’re well equipped to step into the level.”



This weekend the Bulls face a Buxton side who are newly promoted from the Northern Premier Division and have started their league campaign with a win and two draws.

“They’re a good side who have spent a lot of money this year,” added Gowling.

“They won the league below last year and I’m sure they’ve got expectations of doing something at this level and I’m sure the club wants to get back-to-back promotions.

“It will be a tough test. On the face of things they’ve got a good set-up. We’ve done our homework on them and we’re full prepared. They’re a very strong and well organised, well drilled team.

“We want to play attractive football, score goals and be exciting but at this period in the season we just want to pick up points. We want to progress and have a better start and get points on the board early doors.