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.

Tihomir Kanev

16 Nov 19 KanevGiven 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.

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