Grigor Pasha writes: I’m not keen on contracting ageing players. And in my definition of ‘ageing’, I set the threshold low. 30+ is ageing. In fact, approaching 30 could be considered ageing, in my book.
Yes, I know these guys might get wiser as they get older. Yes, like a good burgundy that improves with age.
But they also decline physically. And start to pick up niggles. I want Pomorie to be a niggle-free zone.
Ivo Dimitrov, our head physio, has even suggested that we put a sign up above the entrance to the club: ‘No injury-prone players allowed’.
Actually, it would help if he was a bit better at his job. But he’s the best we can get, so I’m not going to say that to him.
Given my wariness of ageing players, I shouldn’t by rights have give renewed the boy Kanev’s contract.
He’s already declining physically. Slowing up; losing strength; running out of engine.
Nobody on the staff expressed any enthusiasm for offering him a new deal.
But I did.
Mainly, because I think he’s good influence. Role model for the kids. Never any trouble; helps to keep everyone on board. I’ve even given him the vice-captaincy, even though he’s not an out and out leader.
And I like having players that actually do a bit better than you expect. Here we are, beginning of April: 7 goals from 16 starts (some of them as wide target man, rather than striker) plus 2 subs. You won’t hear me complaining.
What does the future hold?
Question is, will he make it through next season? Or will he fall apart? I decided to take a punt — not least because he agreed to take an immediate play cut, which limits the downside.
I have a feeling he might end up metamorphosing into a coach, which is something I’m willing to consider. I like having him around.
Might even have a word with old Burgazliev, the president, to see whether we might cough up some funds for a coaching course.
Though, at a guess, the answer will be no.