Liam Hearn back where it started at Hucknall Town
Hucknall Town boss Andy Graves is delighted that vastly experienced striker Liam Hearn has agreed to return to the club where he began his career.
And Graves said he had boxing star Tyson Fury to partially thank for the coup of signing free-scoring Bulwell-born 'Hitman' Hearn, whose past clubs include Mansfield Town, Alfreton Town, Eastwood Town, Grimsby Town, Lincoln City and Basford United.
“Against Ingles we lost after creating enough chances to win it four times over, which has been our Achille's heel since Christmas, so I needed a striker and have ended up with Liam Hearn,” beamed Graves.
“To be honest I have got to thank Tyson Fury as I was going to bed early and setting my alarm for the fight and I saw a Twitter notification pop up saying Liam had been released by Basford United.
“I had his number from when we played them in the Notts Senior Cup.
“Our goalkeeper got injured and he kindly offered us a goalkeeper as he was in charge there at the time.
“I just sent him a message saying 'don't laugh Liam, but are you fixed up with anybody?' and he came straight back to me saying 'I am not laughing mate, what are you thinking?'.
“I said we are looking for someone to put the ball in the net and help others around him and it carried on from there.”
Graves said the negotiations had gone like a dream.
“Obviously he had a lot of people interested in him – that was bound to be the case,” he said.
“I asked him if he'd like to come and have a chat, my chairman followed my contact up and it has been fantastic.
“He conducted himself absolutely brilliantly and came with no demands. We had a good two-hour chat and he is brilliant to deal with.
“He started at Hucknall and is thinking it could be his last season, so why not come back to where it all started?
“Liam wants to get into Elite coaching. Which he has already started with Mansfield, and it seemed the right fit if we could make things work within the constraints of how we operate.”
He added: “We are going to learn a lot from him while he is here and hopefully it works out okay for both parties.
“We sold the club to him and pointed out he would no longer have all the travelling. He also saw where we are in the league and that we still have a chance of promotion.
“Hopefully we can build some ties with him for the future. He is just here until the end of the season for now and after that we'll see what happens.
“Before I went to bed on that Saturday I had already tried to make contact with some players not of the same calibre and their first question was how much?
“To me, that blew them out the water straight away. That's not how we operate.”
Hearn joined Hucknall in 2003/04 for an 18-month spell and went on to be top goal scorer at Watnall Road.
During his debut season at the age of 19 he finished with 16 goals in the Northern Premier League to win the league's Young Player of the Year before going to to net 31 goals at Alfreton Town to finish Conference North top scorer and Divisional Player of the Year.