Harley goes home twice but no deal for Oster

Last updated : 13 May 2013 By Tony Scholes
Jon Harley with members of the Clarets Mad team on the Italy tour in 2006

Harley joined crisis club Portsmouth last summer and managed to continue there on monthly deals until just about into 2013. One of 52 players to feature in Portsmouth's team, he played his last game for them on New Year's Day, a 5-0 defeat at Swindon. They couldn't afford to keep him any longer and the 33-year-old, who signed for Burnley from Sheffield United in the summer of 2005, was without a club again.

What I didn't know was that he was soon back in football with two different clubs. He very quickly joined his first club Chelsea as a youth coach, where he continues to work with the under-16 squad, but he was still missing the chance to play football on a Saturday afternoon.

So in March he returned home again, this time to his birthplace of Maidstone to sign for Maidstone United who play in the Ryan League Division One South.

He made his debut in a 2-0 home win against Eastbourne Town and went on to play six games, four of which were won, but missed the last two league games and the two play-off games with injury as they won promotion to the Ryman League Premier Division.

Harley arrived at Burnley just three months after John Oster rejected the offer of a longer term contract and opted to sign for Reading.

The now 34-year-old played against us as recently as April last year as a member of the Doncaster team who were on their way down to League One. Released last summer he signed for Barnet but today has learned that they will not be offering him a new deal after dropping out of the Football League.

He made 28 appearances for the Bees in League Two taking his total league appearances, since a debut for Grimsby in 1994, to 420 in which he's scored 26 goals. That includes one for Burnley in a 2-0 win at Coventry in February 2005.