City striker Jerome always keen to learn from experienced Luton duo Mick Harford and Paul Hart
Even though he has racked up almost 650 senior appearances in his 18-year career, scoring over 150 goals from the top flight to Ligue 1 and Turkey too, experienced forward Cameron Jerome is still looking to try and improve his own Game.
That’s exactly what the 35-year-old striker plans to do at Kenilworth Road this season too, having signed a free transfer from MK Dons in the summer.
Part of the Hatters’ backroom staff is a former striker who was a player of some repute during his own days on the pitch, Mick Harford, with two wonderful spells at the Hatters himself, while playing also for Derby County, Chelsea and Birmingham City to name just three teams.
He’s also won two England caps, so when he notices something about Jerome’s play in training that might have to do with polishing, the striker is keen to listen, saying: “For me, personally , it’s nice to have someone there who’s been there and done, with people like Mick and Harty (Paul Hart).
“Especially Mick because he’s a bit more similar in terms of the position he’s played in.
“Mick was a similar style striker to me, in terms of roughness and preparation, he set himself up, scored goals, and it’s good to have those kind of people, even at my age, who still tell you things.
“He told me about my left foot, he said ‘hit your left foot more, get into the habit of hitting them early with your left foot, find that repeat, don’t lean back, you’ tend to do this.’
“It’s good that people can still tell you those things about your game and it’s good that people still care.
You’re never too old to learn and Mick was a top striker himself, so seeing him back in your ear is like he never left.
“Okay, I’m 35, my playing days are slowly winding down, but it’s still good that you have a coach there who isn’t just going to accept this and say, ‘look, I still think that you can improve that, little bits,” and it’s nice to hear that.
“With Elijah (Adebayo) too, even myself and Danny Hylton, we’re going to talk to him about little things in training, encourage him.
“You have Mick and the gaffer (Nathan Jones) and Chris (Cohen, first-team coach) who will do a lot of work with him.
“It’s good to have that direct line and that experience up and down because we have someone down there who has the ability and the potential to take this club forward as well, so Elijah is spoiled selecting.”
Harford had been absent from the training ground for the past few months while undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer after revealing he had been diagnosed with the disease in December 2020.
He fired the Brache last week, before being back in the dugout for Sunday’s FA Cup tie with Harrogate Town, Jerome scoring his second goal in Luton colors on the way to a 4-0 win.
Harford received a superb ovation from the crowd before, during and after the competition, with the players, including Jerome being one of them, equally delighted to have him back on the training ground.
He continued: “It’s nice to see Mick healthy again and we’ve certainly missed him.
“Now that he’s back it’s given the place a bit more momentum and it’s nice to see him with a smile on his face back on the training ground.
“It’s nice to see someone so respected come back and ready to contribute and give it their all again.
“Mick will have a role here for life or however long he wants.
“It’s nice to see a football club involving these kinds of people because Mick has probably done all the work here at the club, which is fantastic.
“It’s a breath of fresh air when you see clubs have that bit of loyalty to people who have done so much and then go and give something back.
“For Mick to be a part of it, it’s great and with his health, the things he’s been through, it shows what a fighter he is and he’s back here, back on the training ground. .”
It’s not just Harford that Jerome is keen to listen to, as he added: “It’s the same with Paul Hart too.
“The guys respect their input and their opinion, and everything they did in the game.
“If someone of that ilk talks to you, then you have that little bit of respect because it’s nice to see they’re still involved in the game.”