Bailey determined to repay City’s faith in him

Elliot Bailey spent a long on loan at Bedford Town. Picture: Bob Walkley

Elliot Bailey spent a long on loan at Bedford Town. Picture: Bob Walkley - Credit: Archant

Elliot Bailey has returned from his loan spell more determined than ever to repay the faith St Albans City showed in him when the club signed him to a contract in the summer.

Elliot Bailey

Elliot Bailey - Credit: Archant

The 18-year-old, who was signed along with fellow youth products James Kaloczi and Matt Taylor, has scored twice for City this season but with limited chances in the first team, he made the decision with joint managers James Gray and Graham Golds to spend a month at Bedford Town.

“I really enjoyed it,” he said.

“I got to play every minute of every game and I got back in love with football. I was low in confidence just before I left because I wasn’t making an impact at City, that’s why I spoke to James and Graham about going out on loan.

“After the loan I couldn’t wait to get back to training and push on and stake a claim for a first team place.”

It’s a tough ask for a young striker who currently sits below John Frendo and Mark Nwokeji on the pecking order but Bailey has the self confidence to achieve his aim, it’s just a case of proving it to the men picking the team.

“I want to be ahead of every other attacker,” he told the Herts Ad.

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“I know I’m good enough to be there, I just need to prove that. It can be hard to break into the team because all the other strikers have a back story but now’s the time to write my own.

“I need to push myself and by the end of the season be scoring goals and playing regularly.”

Bailey watched Saturday’s 4-0 win over Frome Town from the dugout and saw Lowe put in his best performance of the season, making his task of breaking into the team that much harder.

After the game, Gray admitted Bailey and Taylor, who made a substitute appearance on Saturday after a month on loan at Potters Bar, could be sent out again if they can’t earn a starting spot.

Gray said: “It’s good for the lads to get 90 minutes week in week out. I don’t want them not to play for a month so we’ll see if they can come straight in but if not we’ll look to put them out on loan again.”

While Bailey isn’t against another spell away from the club, it is not in his plan.

“I like working with James and Graham. I’ve known them for years and I always want to be playing for them and St Albans City; it’s my local team. It was good to go away but all I want to do play for City,” said Bailey.

“It’s a new beginning for me and a chance to really prove what I can bring to the side.”

He added: “I started the season slowly but I had good games against Bedford, Truro and Billericay. I tried to keep that momentum going but it’s hard for a young player to play his best week in, week out.

“Now, I’ve come back after playing five games in a row for Bedford so I know I can do it.

“I want to prove the club was right to put me on contract. James [Kaloczi] has proven he can do it at this level so I can as well.”