Transfer news: Gray lauds new signing Dean
PUBLISHED: 14:35 22 January 2014 | UPDATED: 15:55 22 January 2014
St Albans City joint manager James Gray has today signed Peter Dean from Wealdstone, saying he will add “something different” to the squad.
The 27-year-old attacking midfielder made more than 200 appearances and scored 64 goals for the Stones over two spells. He was also a key member of the team which reached the semi-finals of the FA Trophy in 2011-12.
Dean, whose former clubs include Bishop’s Stortford, Hendon and Northwood, follows Lee Chappell and Darren Locke as former Wealdstone players who have made the switch to City.
Joint manager James Gray said he is a player he’s had his eye on.
“As soon as he became available from Wealdstone we swooped to sign him. I’ve played with and against Peter and he’ll add something different to the squad. “He is primarily a striker but he can also play out wide so it’s another idea, another option for us. He works his socks off, he’s a really fit lad who can run the channels and play physically, plus he’s got his fair share of goals in him.”
He added: “His work ethic is second to none. He’s a clever player who will drag centre halves into places they don’t want to be and he’ll harass the back four if they try to play it in their own half.
“That will allow us to pressure teams from the front and free up the midfielders.”
Gray admitted he was planning ahead for the departure of Jamal Lowe, who joined City from Barnet on a three month loan deal.
“Obviously Jamal Lowe is on loan. He leaves us in three or four weeks – we can’t extend the loan so he will go back to Barnet – so we will be left with just John Frendo and Mark Nwokeji up front.
“Peter will be the third striker and when Elliot Bailey comes back from loan he will be the fourth.”
Dean will join the first team squad for training this week ahead of Saturday’s fixture at home to Arlesey Town, 3pm kick-off.
His former manager, Gordon Bartlett, said it a statement on the Wealdstone website: ‘I am bitterly disappointed but totally understand Peter’s situation which has been ongoing for a couple of months. His desire to play regularly has finally outweighed his love for the club and we cannot guarantee that at present. He has given some outstanding performances during his time at the club and has always given us 100 per cent.
“Peter has been a fans’ favourite and his personality around the dressing room has been a major part of our excellent team spirit. I would like to express my personal thanks for his efforts over a total of five years with us. On behalf of all of us at the club we wish him every success in the future.”