KEITH Southern is desperate for Brett Ormerod to earn another Pool contract.
The striker, a legend at Bloomfield Road, is due to have talks with chairman Karl Oyston about a new deal, though Ian Holloway will have the final say on whether Ormerod stays at the club.
The frontman has already had offers from League One and Two clubs but there is no doubt he would like to continue his association with a club he first joined from Accrington Stanley as a youngster in 1997.
Whatever happens, there is one man in particular in the Blackpool dressing room who is keen for Ormerod to remain a Tangerine.
Southern said: “I will be really sad if Brett goes. I won’t be able to believe it really, which is stupid because I know nothing lasts forever.
“Players come and go and you get quite close to a large number of people.
“I’ve said a number of times, he is my best mate at the football club. Our families are close and I see a lot of myself in him because he too is a working class, down-to-earth lad.
“He respects people, he speaks to them as he finds, and he treats people the way they treat him.
“Whether he stays or goes I don’t know. He is 35, and I know everybody will think that’s old, but is it?
“When you are 21, 35 is ancient. But now I am 31 myself, 35 doesn’t seem that old because I’m not too far away!
“Trust me, he is as fit as they come and he has a lot to offer.
“If he does go, then whoever signs him will be very fortunate because not only will they get a great player they will get a great person as well. But I hope he stays.”
One thing Southern will miss if Ormerod departs is the striker’s uncanny ability to get a name wrong.
“I’m not just making this up but he just cannot get anyone’s name right. He is unbelievable,” said the midfielder.Last season we were on the bench together in some Premier League games and the one that sticks out is Birmingham at home.
“He was going on about this Fleb fella. He was saying that Fleb has not had a kick. I let it go and thought, ‘Don’t rise to it, Keith.’
“We got 40 minutes in, and he was still going on about Fleb. I couldn’t help myself any longer. I said, ‘It’s not Fleb, it’s Hleb!’ “He said ‘Hleb? It hasn’t got a ‘K’ in it’.
“We had Asamoah Gwen at Sunderland, there was Simon Ireland at Aston Villa and Dave Kitbag at Portsmouth. He isn’t trying to be funny – he genuinely thought those was their names.
“He’s losing his marbles, bless him, but that’s just the type of lad he is – a belting fella.”
Chairman Oyston is keen to offer a Seasiders legend a new deal – albeit on reduced terms – but it is whether Holloway wants the 35-year-old in his squad.
When asked about Ormerod’s future, Oyston replied: “That’s one for the manager to discuss in terms of how Brett will fit into his plans.
“Brett was here when I first arrived at the club in the late 1990s, and he’s been a fantastic servant to the club and scored that all-important goal for us in 2010.
“It would be nice to keep him around, but it depends on what Brett wants because professional footballers always say they want to play for as long as they can.
“I think we need to talk to Brett and see what Ian wants to do.”