The Roland Harris Column

Sunday 10 February, 2002

I have seen Breckin and Burt play, we need them at VP

Family. Love it or hate it you can't get out of having to go see it. A free Saturday and you have no excuse to stay away so with the Birmingham put off to Sunday evening I relented to took Mother Harris down to yet another birthday in Nottingham.

The Harris clan is a load of black sheep that occasionally meet up. There is the single parent family up here, those who left for America to live in a caravan, cousin Rachel who's Daddy says she kisses the best. Not exactly good stock and not the way I'd most like to spend a weekend.

Friday night seemed to stretch on and on until one of the Sackville-Harrises, or summat, gave me the perfect excuse of a Saturday of sitting around listening to family stories. Our Ian, who was our Evie's husband, turned out to be a Chesterfield fan.

So on Saturday I tasted football without a City flavour. It was the first time I can ever remember watching a game live without City playing in it but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I'd gone with a Bantam hat on.

Nicky Law was the talk of the day. "Great player for us, give it everything. Good manager too, kept it together when it was all falling apart". Chesterfield have been through the wringer in last few years. I remember seeing them in the FA Cup semi finals but that experience has been tainted for Ian and co. "Kept (former manager John) Duncan in too long" was the consensus, that and that that game showed once and for all the favouritism that stopped clubs like Chesterfield getting on. One blind said he would have given his liver transplant for a penalty they should have had.

Not that any of this was very interesting for a Bantam except to put our own problems in the shade. They were talking about transfer embargos and the club facing extinction, I was talking about what to do with our £40k a week striker.

No the real reason for my visit, avoiding family aside, was "The Boy Breckin" and "The Boy Burt". I wanted to scope out the guys who are top of Nicky Law's shopping list.

So Bury faced Chesterfield. I was supporting the home side, but could not get that much enthusiasm going for the game until one of my boys got the ball. Ian Breckin is a very good centreback. He is more David Wetherall than Darren Moore. He reads the game well but that could have been cause the Bury forwards looked happy enough waiting for things to happen rather than making chances. I even started to appreciate Ashley Ward, but not for long.

He commands the back line well, The Boy Breckin and I could see him fitting into a higher division. Perhaps not Premiership quality yet, but certainly deserving better than the bottom half of division two. I could see him slotting in along side Wetherall next term, perhaps even next to Andy Myers. Fr some reason, and it could have bene the tubby guy next to him, I do not see a Breckin/Robert Molenaar partnership.

I'd think I would spend the £300,000 Chesterfield want for him. If Nicky Law knows him well enough to trust him I probably would.

I definitely would get Jamie Burt though. The guy is incredible.

He moves about the pitch like a player who needs the ball. He used to play for Newcastle, but now he is every player in the Newcastle front line at once. He has the speed of Carl Cort, the tricks of Craig Bellemy. He has the power of Alan Shearer both on the ball and when he hits it. He shoots like a canon.

Bury could not live with him. He ran around like someone had shoved a rat down his pants. He was everywhere. Second half and he got in front of his defender to glance in a header, vintage Shearer. Last minute and he smashed one in from 30 odd yards. They tell me that he has done this every week since he signed and no, I couldn't take him with me.

We bid £50,000 for this guy, a week of Benito Carbone in other words. I'd go back with a sell on deal for them. 50% clause should he move on from us and some money up front. We can't let this guy go to another club for the sake of a couple of weeks of Beni Carbone money. I'd want him in before deadline day, just like we signed Blake before a deadline day.

We could get these two guys for under £500,000. That's got us 85% of John McGinaly, half a Dean Windass, three months of Beni Carbone, 33 minutes of Bruno Rodrigues. This club has made so many stupid wastes of money. It's time we started to sign smart. Picked up good young players instead of getting old guys who see City as a move down. Ian Breckin is not popular round our Ian's for saying that he would like to leave Saltagate and join City. He wants to play for us and he is good enough to, and for me, that's good enough.

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