Shields turned down Conference Premier for City reunion

Sean Shields leaving the Stortford defense in his wake. Picture: Leigh Page

Sean Shields leaving the Stortford defense in his wake. Picture: Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

Sean Shields turned down loan spells at higher level teams to return to St Albans City, he has revealed.

The 22-year-old, who has joined City on a two-month loan from Dagenham and Redbridge, came off the bench in the 55th minute, with the scores level, of the Saints’ 2-1 win over Bishop’s Stortford. He made an instant impact, stretching the defence with his pace and adding another dimension to City’s attack.

After the game, he said the club’s philosophy of playing football the right way was a major factor in him returning to Clarence Park.

“When I was looking to go out on loan a few teams in the Conference Premier were interested but I spoke to [Gray] a week ago and I knew he wanted to play football, which was a big part of my wanting to join here.

“I’m a technical player and the team is always looking to get the ball down. I wanted to come somewhere that would suit my style of play so I am looking forward to working under [Gray].”

Speaking of today’s win, he added: “It was nice to come on at 1-1. I was looking from the side and I thought I could make an impact, I think I did that and I’m delighted we could get the win

“It’s always nice to come back to somewhere you enjoyed playing and the fans took to me; I enjoyed coming on today.”

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Last time Shields played for the Saints, Gray was on the pitch rather than barking orders from the dugout.

It’s not too different,” said Gray.

“He was a centre-back and some people think he liked to head it and kick people but the way he likes watching football is different to how he played it.

“He wants us to get the ball down and be expressive. It’s enjoyable playing under him.”

After making his second debut for City, he now wants to push on over the next two months and leave his mark on the 2014/15 season.

“I want to get as much game time as I can, have an influence on the pitch and help the team win as many games as I can. Hopefully I can leave my mark so by the end of the two months we’re as high up the table as we can be.”