The Vital Interview: James Perch
Vital would like to thank James Perch for taking the time to speak to Vital Forest. In a profession where most footballers earn so much the fans can no longer relate to them, it's a pleasure to find the local boy still has time for the supporters & is down to Earth enough to give some of his time to us.
Perch on Perch
It seems to have been a topic of debate for several years now on which position would suit James Perch best, after playing most of last season in a holding midfield roll and acquitting himself well there, many are of the opinion that he's finally found his place in the first team. James though still sees himself playing a defensive roll saying 'My favourite position is as a centre back, I came through the youth system at Forest as a centre back playing week in week out in that position but i see myself in the 1st team playing in a full back position'. It may be a while before we get to see him though, we know he'll be out for 3 months as has been reported on the Forest web site, but James revealed this particular injury is a 'slow healer so i think xmas will be the time im looking to get back ' & he told us 'its just frustrating not being able to do anything at all'.
James supported Manchester United as a child, but this had more to do with sibling rivalry than glory hunting with his brother being a Liverpool fan at the time. He grew out of this to become a 'supporter of football in general' but says that Forest were the closest to him & as such, like any Forest fan, when the fixtures came out last month the 1st games he looked for were the two games against his good friend Kris Commons.
Perch on Billy & Squad
It was clear for most to see from the stands last season that there was a big change in attitude amongst the players after the arrival of Billy Davies but when questioned on what Billy did to make that change the response was really quite simple, 'Billy made it clear what he wanted the club to be & what it was going to take to get there' which although simplicity itself seemed to work & the team 'looked really strong' from that point on.
One of the strongest points at Forest at the moment according to Perch is the youth & hunger within the squad, Lewis McGugan came in for special praise described as 'very good technically and he can score some great goals' & while he's not had the chance to play or train with new signing Radaslaw Majewski we was also mentioned as being one of the more technically gifted players in the squad.
Paul McKenna has been named the new Captain for the season (an honour held previously by Perch), but he's quick to back his new captain declaring him 'the best equipped for the job' & although losing the captaincy himself, something he describes as 'the highlight of my career so far, it was a great honour for me as I've been here since i was 11 and I've watched so many good captains in the past' he says he wont be letting it change the way he does things on the pitch. McKenna though is just one of several new faces at the club, 9 signings have been made so far (although some of those had been with us on loan last season) which has been known to upset players, Perch though believes this has only had a positive effect on the current squad, making those young and hungry players 'more determined to do well'.
Perch on the boo boys
For years Forest have had a section of support that enjoys a good whinge (sometimes with good reason, sometimes not) and there are always some who will counter that by asking what possible good it could do for the players to hear that, JP was more philosophical about it though saying 'as players out there on the pitch you try and block everything out but obviously you cant always do it and sometimes we can hear the boos and the jeers and it can affect players especially when we've got a young side out. We always want to play perfect football every week but it cant always happen and i think the small minority of the crowd should realise this' but on a more positive note says it's 'nice to listen to the crowd sing the chants to the other players'
Perch on Commons & transfers
There have been reports on several internet forums recently linking Perch (& Morgan) with a move to Portsmouth where he'd link up with former Forest boss Paul Hart, these though as far as Perch is concerned are fairly wide of the mark & the news came as something of a surprise to him stating 'internet rumours are exactly what they are, people see Paul Hart in charge of Portsmouth and know that he liked me as a player so straight away I'm linked with them' & he went on to say that these things are really of no concern to him at the moment with all his energy being put into getting fit and getting back into the Forest team. While on the subject of transfers he took time to say a few words in defence of Kris Commons who left for our fierce rivals down the A52 saying that he's 'still a very good friend of mine and people don't really know what happened and the circumstances that surrounded it' but offered no more details on those circumstances. He did though say he personally wouldn't consider a move to Derby & that Commons is ' a big man and he made his decision'
When asked whether he would turn his back on his Country ala Commons in the search of International football his reply was 'i could only play for Barbados or England so it looks like i will be holding out for an England cap' but we at Vital aren't so sure, with a choice between the two, we'd go for Barbados & look forward to the home matches.
Perch on Goals
Around 5 years ago, Forest played a league cup tie against Doncaster, two things from this game stick in the memory, a lady in the crowd fainted & James Perch scored his 1st ever goal for Forest. The lady i understand is fine, Perch's goal celebration though, was not. In a show of confusion he jumped up & down like a child who got the best Xmas present ever & then ran away. 5 years & 12 goals later & his celebrations are no better, he explains this with 'scoring a goal is the best feeling in the world and when you do score often it shocks you a little bit so that's the excuse for my rubbish celebrations to date. I did actually plan the 1 i did against Birmingham last year at home its known round the dressing room as the monkey dance'
Perch on Sherwood & Robin
Much has been said lately over the new Robin Hood mascot & the sad demise of Sherwood the bear, so in saving the most important question until we asked James his preference.
'it has to be Sherwood the bear he looks more fun for the kids'
Bring back Sherwood