Thursday, August 26, 2010

Russell Hoult Hoult Hoult ...

Simon Wright profiles Hereford United's new goalkeeping coach.

Russell Hoult Hoult Hoult ..

There are some people who are so instantly charismatic and charming that you cut them more slack than the average Joe. Russell Hoult sits within that bracket. Chatty, outgoing, and articulate it’s easy to imagine that Tim Russon will be exploiting his media-friendly nature to the full. Get in there Mr Hall. And he knows a bit about football in his long nomadic career does “Hot Dog”. Heavens he’s been around oh at least a dozen clubs – Pompey, Derby, Leicester. Lincoln, Notts , WBA etc etc. The old cliché “wealth of experience” is surely not far away.

Note the central England nature of his club (Pompey excepted) so as not to stray too far from his Derbyshire base. More recently however due to domestic circumstances I was told he had a house in Tividale in the Black Country – an unlikely location for any footballer - other than those playing for Tividale FC.

I have tried to follow his career post Hawthorns such as it was. Now that he seems to have run out of clubs, coaching is probably the obvious next step for a man who’s spent his whole life in the game. I suppose time has caught up with him – I imagine he’s close to 40. Can he coach? Who knows – this must be his first appointment.

I recall Hoult at his peak as an excellent all-rounder. He was a first rate shot stopper, had a decent kick but most importantly was dominant in the air. It’s fair to say he was one of the most popular Albion goalkeepers ever. He does hold the club record for the least number of goals conceded in one season. There were mentions of an England call-up but Hot Dog was probably one Premier League season away from achieving that goal. My strongest Premier League memory was bizarrely a rather negative one. The now Burton Albion captain Darren Moore’s backpass was too short and Hoult had to bring down Michael Owen to prevent a goal. He was sent off.

Russ likes women. Most blokes would say the same but his liking is or was so intense that he did several unprofessional things which became rather public. Shall I say this “influenced” at least two of his moves in my humble opinion. I won’t go into detail – look them up if you must as it’s all in the public domain– as I said I like the guy.

Why Hot Dog? He made his League debut at a very early age at very late notice. The first choice keeper was suddenly unavailable an hour or so before kick-off (can’t remember why) and the word went out to find young Hoult. He was found nearby munching a large hot dog safe in the knowledge he wouldn’t be playing.