Pearce warming up for Birmingham City, July 2008
|Full name||Krystian Mitchell Victor Pearce|
|Date of birth||5 January 1990|
|Place of birth||Birmingham, England|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|2007–2008||→ Notts County (loan)||8||(1)|
|2008||→ Port Vale (loan)||12||(0)|
|2008–2009||→ Scunthorpe United (loan)||40||(1)|
|2009–2010||→ Peterborough United (loan)||2||(0)|
|2010||→ Huddersfield Town (loan)||0||(0)|
|2012||→ Barnet (loan)||17||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:19, 20 November 2016 (UTC).
Pearce began his football career with Birmingham City, but never played for their first team. He spent time on loan at Notts County, with whom he made his debut in the Football League, Port Vale, Scunthorpe United and Peterborough United before leaving Birmingham permanently for Huddersfield Town in 2010. He returned to Notts County later that year, and had a spell on loan at Barnet in 2012 before signing for Torquay United in 2013. He spent two seasons with Torquay, moving on to Mansfield Town in 2015.
He represented England at the 2007 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship, where they reached the final, and at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup. In September 2007 he made his debut for the England under-19 team, the year above his actual age group, and played at the finals of the 2008 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship.
Pearce was born in Birmingham and started his career at Sunday league side Kingsdown Colts before joining Birmingham City's Academy when he was ten years old. He began as a striker but converted to play in defence. He was first given a squad number in January 2007 when included in the travelling squad for the FA Cup replay at Newcastle United but did not make the final 16. Two months later he signed his first professional contract, due to expire in 2009. He made frequent appearances for Birmingham City's reserve team, winners of their division of the Central League. As captain of the under-18 side, he scored the winning goal which put his team through to the quarter-final of the FA Youth Cup, in which he conceded a penalty as Birmingham lost to Manchester United. Singled out in Academy manager Terry Westley's end-of-season report as "the one name that does stand out in terms of what he has achieved", Pearce was chosen as Academy Player of the Season for 2006–07.
On 8 November 2007 Pearce signed a one-month loan deal at Football League Two side Notts County in order to gain experience. He made his competitive debut two days later in the starting eleven for Notts County's 3–0 FA Cup first round win over Histon, and the following Saturday made his Football League debut for the club, playing the full 90 minutes in the 1–0 defeat at home to Macclesfield Town. On 8 December he scored his first senior goal, in a 2–1 win against Shrewsbury Town, contributing to him being named in the League Two Team of the Week, after which his loan was extended for a further month. A sending-off for a clumsy challenge failed to dampen County's wish to extend the loan again, but Birmingham recalled the player at the expiry of the second month so that new manager Alex McLeish could assess him as possible cover during Radhi Jaïdi's absence at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.
On 31 January 2008, Pearce joined Port Vale of League One on loan for an initial period of one month to gain experience at a higher level. This loan spell was disrupted by another red card, this time for two bookings, resulting in a two-game ban which left the player anxious to make amends. This loan was twice extended, up to the maximum permissible 93 days, though an ankle injury cut short his stay with the club.
In May 2008 Pearce signed a new two-year contract with Birmingham, in recognition of his performances while on loan and his potential to develop into a first-team player.
On 19 August 2008, he joined League One club Scunthorpe United on loan for a month, later extended, initially until January 2009, then until the end of the season, including, if necessary, for the play-offs. Pearce scored twice for Scunthorpe, once in the league against Swindon Town and once in the Football League Trophy against Rotherham United.
Pearce signed for Peterborough United on a season-long loan on 20 July 2009. In the starting eleven for the League Cup win against Wycombe Wanderers in August, he had to wait until late September for his first League appearance, as a second-half substitute in a poor team performance as Peterborough lost 2–0 away at Blackpool. In contention to start the next game, Pearce remained among the substitutes as changes were made in defence, and his 20-minute appearance as Peterborough lost 2–1 at home to Plymouth Argyle was his last League outing for the club. Pearce remained out of favour as Mark Cooper succeeded Darren Ferguson as manager, and in January 2010 the loan was cut short and the player returned to Birmingham.
On 19 January 2010, Pearce joined Football League One side Huddersfield Town on an emergency loan deal, to be made permanent the following day. He made his debut for the Terriers as a half-time substitute in the 5–0 defeat by Southampton at St Mary's Stadium on 2 March. That game turned out to be Pearce's only appearance for Huddersfield, as loan signing Neal Trotman was preferred, and the player left the club at the end of the 2009–10 season having failed to reach agreement on a new deal.
After a successful trial, Pearce signed a one-year deal with former club Notts County in August 2010. He established himself as a first-team regular and was rewarded with a contract extension until 2013. In March 2011, he suffered serious injury after a clash of heads with teammate Stephen Darby in training, only weeks after a similar collision with Manchester City's Mario Balotelli in an FA Cup match. He remained unconscious for two to three minutes and was detained in hospital where he was found to have blood on the brain. Manager Paul Ince said it was "a massive blow" to lose Pearce from the defence for an expected six weeks as the team battled against relegation. He made an unexpected return to action in a 1–1 draw against Brentford on 25 April; in his absence, County had lost nine successive games. His performances over the season led to his nomination for the club's Player of the Season award.
Pearce scored his first goal of the 2011–12 campaign in a 3–2 victory against Tranmere Rovers in August. He was handed the captaincy for the game against Preston North End for which regular captain Neal Bishop was suspended. He scored his second goal of the season against AFC Bournemouth in a 3–1 win. Pearce suffered a groin injury in August which caused him discomfort during the first half of the campaign; in January 2012, he said that he had "felt it in games but you have to play through it. Adrenalin usually gets you through and that's what I've been relying on." He underwent a hernia operation at the end of the season.
Manager Keith Curle made what the Nottingham Post described as a "shock decision" to place Pearce on the transfer list in May 2012, suggesting that the player had "not been able to recreate the level of performance [he] was hoping for and expecting". Curle said that Pearce would not be given a free transfer, and claimed that a £500,000 bid had been rejected during the season. He joined League Two club Barnet on a three-month loan on 14 September, and made his debut the next day, playing in central defence alongside David Stephens in a 3–0 defeat away to Bradford City. Pearce scored his first goal for the club with a glancing header from a John Oster corner as Barnet beat Northampton Town 4–0 at Underhill on 19 October. He continued as a first-team regular until returning to Notts County when his loan expired, match-fit and hopeful of proving himself to Curle. He played the last two games of County's 2012–13 season, and scored the last goal of their campaign in a 2–2 draw with Coventry City at Meadow Lane. Out of contract at the end of the season, Pearce was told that any new deal was subject to budgetary considerations; in the event, he was released.
On 30 July 2013, Pearce signed a two-year contract with League Two club Torquay United. He made 37 appearances as Torquay were relegated out of the Football League in the 2013–14 season. He made 32 League appearances in 2014–15, and was then released after manager Chris Hargreaves judged that Pearce failed to "reach the heights of last season" and that his wages were too high for the club.
Pearce signed for League Two side Mansfield Town following a trial period in July 2015. He made 40 appearances in the 2015–16 campaign despite being sent off three times, and signed a new contract in the summer. He stated that "I’m just happy to be signing again because I believe in the squad and what the gaffer’s (Adam Murray) trying to do here".
Pearce was first capped at under-17 level for England on 27 October 2006 in a UEFA mini-tournament against Portugal, and was part of the squad which qualified for the final stages of the UEFA European Under-17 Championship held in Belgium in May 2007. He started all of England's games in those finals, and scored their opening goal, his first at international level, helping them to reach the final in which they lost 1–0 to Spain.
England's performance in the UEFA championships earned them qualification for the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea. Again Pearce was in the starting eleven for each of England's games, and scored the second goal in their win over Syria U-17 in the round of 16, described in FIFA's match report as: "Once again, another Porritt cross caused problems for Mohamad Aljomaa's side, the ball fell to centre half Krystian Pearce, who showed all the composure of a striker, taking two touches before hitting a low shot into the net."
During both the European and World tournaments, Pearce formed a sound defensive partnership with team captain Jordan Spence of West Ham United; Sir Trevor Brooking, the Football Association's Director of Football Development, tipped the pair for future success. Pearce was described in an article on the FA's website as "arguably England's best player at the World Cup".
In September 2007 Pearce was called up to the England under-19 squad for the qualifying tournament for the 2008 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship, despite being a year younger than most of the squad. He played the whole of England's first two games and was rested for the third, coming on at half time and scoring the third goal in a 3–1 win. Called up for a friendly against Russia under-19 in March 2008, Pearce was withdrawn and allowed to play for his loan club Port Vale, on the grounds that both England under-19 coach Brian Eastick and Birmingham City saw "playing in a League One game against Gillingham as being beneficial to his development". He was part of the under-19 squad that topped their group at the elite qualification stage, starting in their second match and coming on as a very late substitute in the third. In England's first group match in the finals, a lack of communication between Pearce and his goalkeeper cost England a goal against their Czech counterparts. He retained his starting place for the remaining group games, keeping clean sheets in a goalless draw with Italy, where he made a vital late interception, and a 3–0 defeat of Greece. Though England failed to reach the semifinals, their performance was good enough to qualify for the final stages of the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Pearce took part in two of the three group matches in the first qualifying round for the 2009 European Under-19 Championships, as a half-time substitute in a 3–1 victory over their Northern Irish counterparts which ensured qualification for the elite qualification round, and playing the whole of the 4–1 defeat by Serbia.
Style of play
Pearce is good in the air, as one would expect of a large man, and has pace and composure. He is equally comfortable with the ball at his feet and does not lack confidence. According to Birmingham Academy manager Terry Westley, "he has pace and power in abundance and he will be an absolute giant when he stops growing. He's strong, he's tidied up his feet and he's another ... who is not flash or arrogant. He thrives on being pushed." His nickname is "Chief", because "one of the [Birmingham] coaches said he saw a movie and there was a chief in it who didn't talk much but everyone looked up to him and respected him. I am like that so everyone gave me the name."
- As of match played 19 November 2016
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Birmingham City||2007–08||Premier League||0||0||0||0||0||0||—||0||0|
|Birmingham City total||0||0||0||0||0||0||—||0||0|
|Notts County (loan)||2007–08||League Two||8||1||1||0||—||—||9||1|
|Port Vale (loan)||2007–08||League One||12||0||—||—||—||12||0|
|Scunthorpe United (loan)||2008–09||League One||40||1||2||0||—||5[a]||1||47||2|
|Peterborough United (loan)||2009–10||Championship||2||0||0||0||3||0||—||5||0|
|Huddersfield Town (loan)||2009–10||League One||1||0||—||—||0||0||1||0|
|Notts County||2010–11||League One||27||1||4||1||3||0||1[a]||0||35||2|
|Notts County total||56||5||6||1||4||0||2||0||68||6|
|Barnet (loan)||2012–13||League Two||17||1||0||0||—||1[a]||0||18||1|
|Torquay United||2013–14||League Two||35||4||0||0||1||0||1[a]||0||37||4|
|Torquay United total||67||5||0||0||1||0||6||0||74||5|
|Mansfield Town||2015–16||League Two||38||3||1||0||0||0||1[a]||0||40||3|
|2016–17||EFL League Two||13||0||1||0||0||0||3[c]||0||17||0|
|Mansfield Town total||51||3||2||0||0||0||4||0||57||3|
- Birmingham City
- England under-17
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Showing the chutzpah of a teenager, Krystian Pearce looked ahead to tomorrow's Under-17 World Cup quarter-final against Germany in Goyang City, South Korea, and said: 'I was hoping we would face them. I'm looking forward to it. It's England v Germany – that's just one of those great games. We should be able to beat them.'
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