Town striker Jerome always eager to learn from experienced Luton duo Mick Harford and Paul Hart

Forward happy that coaches are still interested in his improvement

Friday, 14th January 2022, 8:26 pm
Updated Friday, 14th January 2022, 8:30 pm
Cameron Jerome chests the ball down against Harrogate

Even though he has racked up almost 650 senior games in a 18-year career, scoring over 150 goals from the top flight to League One and out in Turkey as well, experienced striker Cameron Jerome is always looking to try and improve his own game.

That’s exactly what the 35-year-old forward believes he is doing at Kenilworth Road this season too, having signed on a free transfer from MK Dons in the summer.

Part of the Hatters' backroom staff is a former forward who was a player of some repute during his own days on the field, Mick Harford, with two wonderful spells at the Hatters himself, while also featuring for Derby County, Chelsea and Birmingham City to name just three teams.

He won two England caps as well, so when he notices something about Jerome's game in training that could do with polishing, the attacker is keen to listen, saying: "For me, personally, it is nice to have someone there who’s been there and done it, with people like Mick and Harty (Paul Hart).

"Especially Mick as he’s a little bit more similar in terms of the position he played in.

"Mick was a similar style striker to how I was, in terms of rough and ready, put himself around, scored goals, and it’s nice to have those sorts of people, even at my age, still telling you things.

"He told me about my left foot, said 'hit more with your left foot, get back into the habit of hitting them early with your left foot, find that repetition, don’t lean back, you've got a tendency of doing this.'

"It’s nice that people can still tell you those things about your game and it’s nice that people still do care.

You are never too old to learn and Mick was a top striker himself so to have him back in your ear again, it’s like he’s never been away.

"All right, I’m 35, my playing days are slowly winding down, but it’s still nice that you’ve got a coach there who’s not going to just accept that and say, 'look I still think you can improve this, little bits and pieces,' and it’s nice to hear that.

"With Elijah (Adebayo) as well, even myself and Danny Hylton, we'll speak to him about little things in training, encourage him.

"You’ve got Mick and the gaffer (Nathan Jones) and Chris (Cohen, first team coach) who will do a lot of work with him.

"It’s nice to have that direct line and that experience from top to the bottom, as we’ve got someone at the bottom who’s got the ability and potential to take this club forward as well, so Elijah is spoilt for choice.”

Harford had been away from the training ground over the past few months as he underwent a course of radiotherapy for prostate cancer after revealing he had been diagnosed with the disease in December 2020.

He returned the Brache last week, before being back in the dugout for FA Cup game with Harrogate Town on Sunday, Jerome netting his second goal in Luton colours on the way to a 4-0 win.

Harford got a superb ovation from the crowd before, during and after the contest, with the players, Jerome being one of them, also thrilled to have him around the training ground once more.

He continued: "It is nice to see Mick back in a clean bill of health and he was certainly was missed.

"Now that he’s back, it has given the place a little bit more of a lift and it’s nice to see him with a smile on his face, back out on the training pitch.

"It is nice to see someone so respected come back and ready to contribute and give everything again.

"Mick will have a role here for life or as long as he wants it.

"It’s nice to see a football club having those sorts of people involved, as Mick’s probably done every job here at the club which is fantastic.

"It's a breath of fresh air when you see clubs have that little bit of loyalty to people who have done so much to then go and give something back.

"For Mick to be a part of it, it’s brilliant and with his health, the things he has been through, it shows what a fighter he is and he’s back here, back on the training ground."

It's not just Harford who Jerome is keen to listen to though, as he added: "It’s the same with Paul Hart as well.

"The lads respect their input and opinion, and everything they have done in the game.

"If someone of that ilk is speaking to you, then you have that bit of respect because it’s nice to see they’re still involved in the game.”