Danny Gould is Histon's man for many roles
Danny Gould has become Histon’s man for all positions.
Pick up a Stutes teamsheet and you could find the 21-year-old lining up in any number of roles.
It is not as if Gould is just a utility player though, his versatility allows him to operate in a wide range of roles and also for the shape of the side to vary.
It means that he has become an integral part of the team, with captain Max York and Matt Green the only outfield players to make more appearances this season – he has 29 starts and come off the bench five times.
“I don’t know what position I am anymore,” admits Gould. “I started off as a centre forward at Southend, then I moved to right wing, then right-back, then left wing-back, then left midfield – I’ve played absolutely everywhere.
“I like playing further forward, maybe to the left of a front three, but if a job needs to be done anywhere then I will play there.
“Ed (Rolph) has had a few injuries and so has Dan (Brown) so it has given me the chance to play a bit further forward which has been nice.
“I’ve always assisted a lot more than what I score, but I think that’s from where I normally play on the wing. My pace has always been key, it’s the best thing I’ve got going for me!”
As Gould, nicknamed Zuks by former team-mate Joe Carden for his resemblance to the Grease character, alluded to, he was with Southend United for eight years as a youngster.
After not being offered a scholarship and released from the Roots Hall academy, he attended exit trials in Leicester and caught the eye of Histon officials, who lured him to Bridge Road to do his scholarship.
“It was difficult because I had been at Southend for eight years so I didn’t really know what to do afterwards,” explained Gould, who is from Ongar.
“Jack Cassidy (the former youth team coach) and Brian Page (the former scholarship lead co-ordinator) saw me there and offered me a scholarship at Histon.
“At first, I wasn’t going to join Histon because it was quite far away but Jack and Brian persuaded me so I felt they must want me. I took it and have been here ever since.
“I always wanted to stay in football and thought it was another way of trying to get into the professional game through the backdoor.
“It’s a family club, they look after you if you’re loyal to them. They’ve always been helpful.
“It was not a huge difference as it was run pretty much the same way that league clubs would run it (an academy), and it was all done very professionally.
“The only difference was the level of the league you play in.”
It had not been the best of times for Histon since Gould has been at the club, with a number of consecutive relegations by the time he finished his scholarship in 2016.
During the 2016/17 season, Gould went on to cement his place in the first-team squad, winning the players’ player of the year award and he has continued to impress during the past 18 months.
And now the fortunes seemed to be changing for the Stutes.
“This is the best team we’ve had there in a few years, the players get on and there’s a good atmosphere in the changing room,” he said.
“I think it’s just that we all get on and have a laugh, there’s nothing really too serious; we’re all mates and like a family.
“I think Lance (Key, the manager) has encouraged it, and with Evan (Key) and Smudge (Lee Smith) there it just works. Marc Critoph (the assistant manager) is Lance’s mate and they all know each other well.
“Since I’ve been here, it’s changed a hell of a lot squad wise and we all get on. Lance has made it click somehow – I don’t know how but he has.”
With that spirit in force, Gould just wants Histon to continue as they are in their quest for promotion from the Thurlow Nunn League, Premier Division.
“We just need to carry on picking up wins, but we just want to take each game as it comes and pick up three points,” he added.
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More by this authorMark Taylor