Yeovil Town striker Matt Harrold kept himself busy during the club's recent weekend off - watching his old team-mates dump Premiership side Sunderland out of the FA Cup. As a result he saw Dudley Campbell - the striker who replaced him at Griffin Park - score both goals in the shock win, and then seal a move to Premiership side Birmingham City.
However, speaking to BBC Sport, Matt admitted he was more than prepared to watch and learn from 'DJ' in order to improve his own game: "It's good to watch the movement of other forwards. I watch a lot of football on television to see the way different strikers move inside the box, get in front of people and lose their markers. But you can also see so much on television, it's hard to detect the whole movement. DJ's move to Birmingham shows how much talent there is the non-league game. There are lots of players who can definitely play at a higher level. I'm only 21, but I think I've got the potential to be a Premier League player, though obviously luck plays a big part as well as hard work."
Matt has always been willing to learn new things - from the 'A' Level in Sports Science he possesses, to the degree he started but never completed due to Brentford snapping him up on a professional contract as a 17 year old whilst he was playing on loan for Harlow Town as a Grays Athletic player. He worked under current Bees boss Martin Allen who he praised heavily for his coaching methods, but believed that having top class forwards ahead of him held him back in West London.
Matt explained: "In my first year with Brentford it was a case of trying to break into the team. Then Isiaih Rankin and Deon Burton signed and it's hard when you don't feel you are first- choice striker. But Martin Allen taught me things I will always be grateful for. He helped me with the dirty side of the game you have to do as a forward, such as closing down players and dropping back to help the team. He is a very good manager. He did a lot of working with us as regards our shape to shut the other team down and that is why Brentford didn't concede many goals."
Matt of course has recently earned himself a regular place in the Glovers starting line-up although that presents its own challenges that he is learning to deal with such as the two recent home defeats against Bradford City and Southend United that saw the club begin life without three of its most experienced players.
Matt explained: "You can't expect morale to be that great after losing two successive games. Lee Johnson, Darren Way, Efe Sodje have all gone and we haven't really been able to replace them. We're a young team, but I think we will be OK. We've dropped points and I just can't believe how it has happened."
The target-man who has scored six goals this season also revealed some of the bizarre lengths that he had gone to in order to try and break his current barren run which stretches back nine games to the mid-December win at Rotherham United.
Harrold revealed: "I can't tell you the amount of things that go through your head you think might help you end a run like that. When I last scored I had eaten a banana in the morning. So I kept trying that but after not scoring in the fifth game I've gave up on that idea. I've scored six goals this season, but if you look at my first-team starts, it's probably a goal in every three games. The thing is I'm playing well and the manager is happy with me, though obviously I'm disappointed I've haven't scored recently."
Comment on this News Item on Facebook
or Go back to Top of Page