Craig Denton recently announced the capture of brothers Matt and David Reay from Evo-Stik outfit Stocksbridge Park Steels. Both Matt and David bring a good level of experience which will hopefully rub off on the rest of the squad and aid to any success this season. In this piece, we will talk to one half of the dynamic duo.

David Reay is a tall, powerful goalkeeper who is a forceful organiser from the back. Reay is great with his hands and a cracking shot-stopper. He told us that he is also ‘loud’ and ‘gobby’. He is a player that we believe will be a hit with the Tigers fans.

The ‘giant keeper’ has represented teams such as Stocksbridge Park Steels, Rainworth Miners Welfare, Buxton and (Tonight’s friendly opponents) Parkgate FC.

Whilst playing for the Steels, David Reay was the unlikely hero as he popped up and got the final touch, after a mass scramble in the box following a corner, to claim a 94th minute equaliser against Belper Town last season.

After an intense goalkeeping training session with coach Andy Wilson, we caught up with the big man;

How does it feel to sign for the Tigers?

DR: Yeah, it’s good. It’s a big club who shouldn’t be where they are and has attracted me and my brother here and I’m looking forward to it next year.

This is the second session in pre-season, how do you feel things have gone so far?

DR: Good to get back into it, I’m probably not where I should be but without a doubt in six weeks time I’ll be ready to go in the opening game. The boys have been putting in a lot of work, so we should be there or there abouts for the first game of the season. Pre-season is where we will get ourselves gelling as it is pretty much a brand-new team, but I think a lot of the lads know each other anyway which will be good for us.

What made you choose the Tigers?

DR: I’ve known Dents around five years or so. He approached me and told me his vision to be up there for next year. We think me, and Matt can certainly contribute towards that by hopefully, on my part, keeping clean sheets. And on Matts half stopping things in front of me to get those clean sheets. It’s a big club and playing in front of a lot of people which is what we like because it gives you that extra spur to want to go on and win in front of a big crowd.

Will it help you settle in better knowing you’re coming here with Matt?

DR: Yeah it certainly kills two birds with one stone. We obviously get to see each other a lot, we know how each other play, we get at each other a lot, and we are quite confident pair which makes it a lot easier as 99% of the time I say something and he’ll do it, the other percent he’ll tell me where to go but yeah it does make it a lot easier and we’re both certainly looking forward to it.

For anyone that may have not seen you play before, except for maybe the Senior Cup Game, how would you describe yourself?

DR: I’m loud and gobby, I think the fans may remember me from the game last year for those reasons in the Sheffield Senior Cup but yeah big, loud, commanding and I think I’ll do a good job.

You are training with two other keepers (James Gamble and Andy Francis) will that bring the best out of you?

DR: Yeah definitely, I need that. I can sometimes become quite complacent. Dents will know exactly what I’m like and it’s healthy, it’s good competition and what everybody needs because you become complacent and not at 100% firing power.

Finally David, have you got a message for the fans?

DR: Rock and Roll basically, it’s certainly going to be a fun year especially with me shouting my head off. I think the vision is what I’ve come here for personally, with the personnel and players Dents has brought in. I hope they’re looking forward to it, I know I’m certainly going to enjoy it. Be patient, be positive, positivity definitely gets the players feeling and playing better which is good for the manager, the players and the fans.

Reay could make his debut against his old side Parkgate FC on Tuesday 10th July at Roundwood Sports Complex in the Tigers’ first pre-season friendly in Craig Denton’s reign.

We’d like to thank David for taking the time out after training to speak to us.

By Devon Cash

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