Monday 11th January 2021
DUMBARTON FC have had a website for roughly 20 years. Give or take, it’s been around for roughly as long as Joshua Bradley- Hurst has.
It’s difficult to imagine that there has been an interview like this in all that time.
It is a quiet Sunday evening, and Sons’ new keeper is having a chat about his move to the C&G Systems Stadium and prospects for it, including potentially taking on Aberdeen in a few weeks.
Within 24 hours of our telephone conversation, the Scottish football season is on hold outwith the SPFL’s top two tiers, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Who now knows when Joshua will be witnessed in a Dumbarton jersey? It won’t be until early February at least, with the suspension of the campaign due to be lifted then.
It wasn’t the start to life at the club that he would have been hoping for. Given that we are talking on the goalie’s 19th birthday, it’s quite a turn in events.
Speaking before the announcement, he told www.dumbartonfootballclub.com: “I’m glad to have the opportunity. It’s a great club and I’ve got the chance to play at a high level, so I’m looking forward to a competitive experience.
“I had a couple of training sessions with the club a few weeks ago and they said they liked me and that they would want to have me back for another couple of sessions.
“I was just going for surgery and that was set to rule me out for seven to eight weeks. Then I got a message from goalkeeping coach Robert Glen and manager Jim Duffy saying there was an opportunity. I was delighted.
“I’ve recovered from the surgery and I’m good to go.
“I’ll be looking to train and play to the best of my ability and work hard every week to try to get a place in the team.”
We are talking two days before Sons are due to play Huntly in the Scottish Cup second round. At stake for the winners is a third round tie at home to the Dons.
That is all now in abeyance of course, but before it, Joshua continued: “We’ve not to get too excited about playing Aberdeen at the moment, as we still have the game against Huntly and we’re looking forward to that.
“Hopefully I’ll be selected for it, but if not, I’ll just keep my head down and work hard.”
Joshua has returned to Scotland after a spell with Birmingham City, who he signed for at 16 after five years with Celtic.
He said: “[My time with Birmingham] was a great experience for me. I started off playing under-18 football for a season then in my second year I trained with the B team.
“I was then out on loan to Gloucester City and Hungerford Town in the lower leagues. Those were also fantastic experiences, completely different to academy football.
“There were three points at stake every week and it was a completely different style of football.
“I’d been playing for Celtic since I was 11 before I joined Birmingham. Sam Wardrop was a few years older than me, but I’d spoken to Daniel Church a few times.
“He too was a few years older than me, but I’m looking forward to getting to know the players now I am on board.”
And that’s us. Off we go, looking forward to Joshua’s potential debut against Huntly 48 hours later.
Except neither of us knows what is just around the corner.