Perch goes to Toon

Nottingham Forest have confirmed that James Perch has joined Premier League new boys Newcastle United.



Newcastle have agreed a fee for the versatile 24 year old, who is on Tyneside to complete the formalities of his switch.

Perch was born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. He was educated at Sherwood Hall Upper School. He is a product of the Nottingham Forest youth academy. He is very versatile and has played in a number of different positions at the City Ground. Though he started off a striker in the Forest academy, he was moved to right-back as a cover and played well there he's also known for being good in goal. The right-back position stuck for a while, but when he broke into the first team, he played as a central defender. In 2004, the versatile player was linked with a move to Levante but the move never materialised. Early in the 2005/2006 season he found himself at left-back to cover for an injured John Curtis, but has since gone on to play in a more defensive midfield role, and also played on both wings.

James Perch made his debut for the Nottingham Forest reserves in 2001. He scored two goals and almost scored a hat-trick when he went through on goal and forced Newcastle United goalkeeper James Pickering into a great save. Perch's game went sour when he was sent off for violent conduct for seemingly head-butting Sacha Stephenson, which resulted in a brawl between Forest defender Richard Woodward and Newcastle striker Tim Ivil. Referee Tanzil Aslam later endorsed the red card being rescinded after being shown video evidence.

Perch had a good season with Forest in the 2006–07 campaign. He was a virtual ever-present for the team and netted five goals in all for the season. He came third place in the fans' player of the season, behind the winner Grant Holt. However, Perch has been demoted to the bench in the 2007–08 campaign with the influx of new signings. He came off the bench often and occasionally started in which he helped The Reds finish second in League One, seeing Forest gain automatic promotion to the Championship.
In the 2008–09 season, Perch scored Forest's first league goal of the season in their 3-1 loss at Swansea City. Perch has mainly played in midfield in this season, but has appeared in right-back as he has cemented himself as a first-team regular again. He then scored his 10th league goal for the club in his 150th league appearance for The Reds, with a diving header in Forest's 1–1 home draw against Birmingham City in November 2008.

Perch is currently Forest's second longest serving player, behind Wes Morgan and has been the club's captain since the sacking of former manager Colin Calderwood. At the end of the 2008–09 season he has made a total of 199 appearances in all competitions for Nottingham Forest, playing in various positions including midfield and defence, playing at centre back and right back.

Due to a heel injury he was forced to miss the teams pre-season trip to Portugal, it was later confimed that he would miss around 3 months of the new season. His first action of the 2009–10 season was to commentate on the annual pre-season friendly between Forest and Notts County.
Promotion rivals Newcastle had a bid for Perch rejected in January 2010, which was described as "derisory". On 5th July 2010 Perch signed for Newcastle for an undisclosed fee on a 4 year deal.

Forest's Chief Executive Mark Arthur said: "James has been with since he was 11 and has progressed up through the ranks at The City Ground.
"In so many ways he's a shining example of the success of our Academy system but now it's time for him to move on.
"He made it clear that the prospect of a move into the Premier League with Newcastle appealed to him and we couldn't stand in his way.
"I would like to thank him for the service he has given us both on and off the pitch with the work he has carried out within the local community and wish him all the very best with Newcastle."
Perch had a year left on his existing Forest contract.