How long can Burgess Hill Town striker Pat Harding play on for?
Good news for Burgess Hill Town fans - ‘Super’ Pat Harding is going to play on for as long as he can.
The veteran striker, now aged 36, hit form with two goals against Harrow Borough before the second lockdown came in and non-elite football was suspended until at least December 2.
Harding is hopeful football will resume and the season will be finished - but also sees another lockdown in the future and plenty of games in the spring. He said: “I am hopeful the season will be finished - even though there’ll probably be another lockdown in January or February.
“But we already go further into May, and I think there’ll be plenty of Saturday and Tuesday games in the spring time. That’s a good thing, I hate the off-season anyway.”
Harding, who is his tenth season with the Hillians and has played more than 400 games, told us he had no problem with being labelled a veteran.
He said: “I’ll be 37 in December and we have some players who are 17 or 18.”
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But how much as he got left in the tank? “I’ll play for as long as I can and then drop down the leagues,” he said.
“I’ve told Ray ‘Pav’ Bugg (kitman) and Phil Tobin (physio) to let me know if I start embarrassing myself on the pitch.
“I love the competition and the build-up to matches, testing yourself against opposition. I’d miss that when retiring from the game.”
Harding, who is a sports masseuse, also praised the FA for allowing fans back in at the Hillians’ level.
He said: “I actually think the FA have been okay to players.
“It’s been really great allowing the fans back (at least at our level) and I’m glad common sense allowed 25% of capacity or whatever it is.
“I feel sorry for the National League clubs still with no fans (although they have received more grant money).”
He can’t wait for football to return again and had a message to the fans. “Keep the faith, don’t get too down with losses, enjoy the live football when it returns and make the most of the good days like the 4-1 Harrow win at a buzzing More Than Tyres Stadium.”