Chris Harold: Hitting the right notes

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While it hasn’t been the best of seasons for Perth Glory, one young player is flourishing after getting his chance to stake a claim for a regular first team spot.

Former Gold Coast United striker Chris Harold returned to Western Australia last year following the demise of the Queensland club and has recently established himself in Glory’s starting eleven.

At 20, he is in his third full Hyundai A-League season but feels that this campaign has been his strongest so far.

“I was at Gold Coast the last couple of years but this year has probably been my main year where I’ve been part of the first team every single week,” he says.

“The last few games I’ve started which is good for me but I need to keep performing if I want to keep my spot in the team.”

Harold was spotted playing in the Brisbane local leagues by current Roar coach (and former GCU youth coach) Mike Mulvey and signed a professional contract with Gold Coast, going on to make 25 appearances in total.

Upon moving to Glory, he picked up a preseason injury which meant he had to sit out the first two rounds of Season 8 before returning in Round 3.

“The first few I games I played was off the bench which was probably a good thing for me to ease into it but once you get those few games under your belt you really want to start pressing for a starting spot,” he says.

A centre forward by trade, Harold has been asked to occupy the left hand side of a front three by recently departed Ian Ferguson and now interim coach Alistair Edwards.

“I’ve played number 9 centre forward most of my life but I’ve also played wing quite a fair bit as well so I don’t mind playing either position,” he says.

“Obviously when you’re playing centre forward you get more goalscoring positions but out wide you can get yourself in good areas and also get a lot of goals.”

While playing on the wing, Harold has been able to utilise his blistering pace which he admits gives him the confidence to take on any full back he comes up against.

“You’ve got to play to your strengths,” he says.

“Obviously my speed is my main asset so whenever I play I try to use that to my advantage and the team’s advantage because it’s not something that everyone possesses.”

The only possible slight on Harold’s season is the lack of goals, with the winner against the Newcastle Jets at nib Stadium in November the only one to his name so far.

However, he is confident that he will start finding the net regularly sooner rather than later.

“It’s always in the back of my mind that I want to be scoring,” he says.

“I’ve played a lot off the bench so I’ve not had as much game time as I would have liked but I still think I could have had a couple more goals this year.

“At the moment I’m feeling pretty confident and the team’s starting to play well so with that and the team dominating you create more chances and I’m sure it’ll come.”

Harold has been involved with the international set up at under 20 and Olympic qualifying level but says that right now he more focused on establishing himself domestically.

“When you get called up to the national team it’s a great honour that you’ve been recognised,” he says.

“At this point in time realistically I don’t think it’s at the top of my list but once I establish myself as an A-League player it’s definitely something to strive for.”

With the likes of Tom Rogic, Mustafa Amini, Robbie Kruse and Mathew Leckie having moved to Europe from the A-League in recent times, Harold admits that a similar switch is something he has thought about.

“It’s every footballers dream to play at the highest level,” he says.

“Obviously I’ve got a long way to go before I get to get to that sort of level but it’s not completely out of the question.”

Off the field, Harold certainly appears to have his head screwed on having studied law at university and he enjoys a variety of hobbies which provide a welcome distraction from the game.

“I have a lot of other interests like music,” he says.

“Music is a big part of my life; I spend a lot of time listening to that.

“When I’ve finished football for the day I like to distract myself and not preoccupy my mind with football all the time because I think that can bring people down a lot, especially when they’re not in form.”

Speaking of form, a run of results is very much needed if Glory are going to make finals and go some way to emulating last season’s Grand Final appearance.

“As a team it would be a massive achievement if we did make the top six, and I feel that if we do make the top six we can really make a run of going all the way,” he says.

“Personally I would like to cement my spot in the starting team and score a few more goals; if I can do that it will also help the team.”

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Neil Sherwin
Neil has covered the Perth Glory and the Hyundai A-League for five years and is one of Western Australia's most knowledgeable football journalists.

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