A preview of Jamie Hand’s X-Men interview from Saturday’s Matchday Programme for the game against Yeovil
AT just 29 years of age, former Watford midfielder Jamie Hand has racked up an impressive 22 moves in his career to date.
Despite the sheer volume of moves, the Stockport County midfielder has managed to continue playing at a good level and has earned the chance to play for a big club once more after a nomadic existence in recent years.
‘Stockport is part-time now, first time ever I think,’ says Hand.
‘[Manager] Alan Lord is doing a great job to be honest, we`ve got a lot of problems behind the scenes, we don`t have a training ground anymore and we have to wait for text messages to find out where we`re going.
‘That`s what happens a lot in non-league to be honest, but it`s never happened to Stockport before,’ admits the Uxbridge-born enforcer.
After a permanent move to Luton Town fell through in 2012 due to ‘a lack of understanding of football’ by the Hatters’ hierarchy, Hand has earned his second crack at the big time the hard way.
A move to Mansfield last season – now comfortably perched in League Two – brought just one substitute appearance for the Stags, with hand playing the bulk of his football on-loan at Eastleigh, Margate and Hayes & Yeading.
It was during his first spell at Hayes & Yeading that Hand enjoyed the best period of his career, regularly upsetting the Conference’s Big Boys as captain of the unfashionable minnows.
‘Teams would come to Hayes and think ‘Oh my God, this is the worst place I`ve ever been to.` We`d go to Bath City and it was the worst place. No disrespect to Bath but there were no fans, the stadium was falling down and the changing rooms were terrible!
Going to Fleetwood, Luton and Wrexham – we beat Wrexham away from home – and it was incredible, there was no way Hayes & Yeading could ever do that,’ enthuses Hand.
‘If you`ve got a load of players at a club like Hayes where there`s no expectation and they want things done for them, then you`re going to struggle, so you`ve got to have that mentality of ‘It`s us against the world.`’
Despite being the right side of 30, hand has an eye on his future already, having recently started his Level Two coaching qualification with an eye on remaining in the game when he hang up his boots.
‘I`m lucky now that I`ve got friends in the game that I used to play with like Sean Dyche,’ admits Hand.
‘I rang him last week and asked if I could do some coaching and he was just so happy that I wanted to get into coaching. Obviously things are going well for him which I couldn`t be any happier about because he`s such a fantastic fella. He said I could come in and watch the first team, watch the academy and gave me advice on my course. He was first-class with me and I made two or three of those phone call to other people who were all brilliant with me.’
Remember! This is just a preview of Jamie’s X-Men interview, the full version of which will appear in Saturday’s Official Matchday Programme for the Yeovil match.