Gray “over the moon” to have Shields back at City

Sean Shields

Sean Shields - Credit: Archant

St Albans City joint manager James Gray is “over the moon” to have brought Sean Shields back to Clarence Park.

The Northern Ireland U21 international has signed for the Saints on a two-month loan from Dagenham and Redbridge, and will be available for this Saturday’s Hertfordshire derby against Bishop’s Stortford, which kicks off at Clarence Park at 3pm.

“We’ve over the moon to have him back. It’s well documented how good he was and he’s a fan favourite,” said Gray.

“He’s got a box of tricks, an eye for goal, he’s good in the final third, a good crosser of the ball and he’s creative. Sean can come straight in and help us.”

Gray and Graham Golds started exploring bringing Shields back in pre-season, when the Daggers were beaten 6-2 by City.

“We’ve been working it for a few weeks,” Gray revealed.

“When we played them in preseason and I had a chat with the manager about Sean, just to keep tabs on him to see how he’s getting on.

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“He wasn’t playing first-team football and, since Harry [Wheeler, City’s first-team coach] has a full-time job there, we got speaking to the right people. Sean was desperate to get out on loan and get some games so ‘hey presto’ we’ve got him.”

Shields, who is a graduate from the club’s academy scheme at Oaklands College, broke into the St Albans team during the 2010-11 season after a string of impressive performances for the reserves. He went on to make 92 appearances in a Saints shirt before signing a professional contact with Dagenham and Redbridge in January 2013. Last season he made 13 appearance for the Daggers.

• In other team news, striker Warren McBean has been released.