NEW Gainsborough Trinity midfielder Shane Clarke has said that his family were the deciding factor in his move to the club.
Speaking to the Standard earlier this week, former Boston United man Clarke said: “My family always has to come first, and I simply couldn’t accept the deal Boston offered me.”
“My girlfriend and I had our first child in March, and it changes your perception of the world.”
“I understand some fans may have an issue with the move given the rivalry (between Boston and Gainsborough), but job security was a massive factor in my decision to join Trinity.”
The 23-year-old spent the latter half of last season on trial with Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire thanks to his American agent, and says that this gave him the opportunity to experience football in a different culture.
“It’s a very professional set-up out there and the training facilities are just amazing.”
“I trained with the club in pre-season, but the system works slightly differently over there.”
“You have around 50 players at the training camps, and each week a few players will be cut from the squad.”
“I stayed in the squad for two and a half weeks, but they wanted to bring in another striker (former Lille star Marko Maric), so I couldn’t really argue with that.”
“It was a really great experience and had life been a little different I may well have gone back out (to America) next season.”
Like all of this season’s new recruits, Clarke is significantly younger than some of last year’s squad members; something which he believes is part of the club’s long term strategy.
“The club has big plans to move forward – anyone who speaks to the management will see that.”
“They’ve brought in a few guys that lower the average age and that shows their ambition.”
The midfielder also believes that the club’s immediate future is in the hands of the players.
“It is down to us as a team to help the club get to where we want it to be.”
“When we spoke, Brian (Little) didn’t set any concrete targets for the season.”
“They (Little and chairman Peter Swann) want to take the pressure off the players, but they obviously want to do better than last year.”
“They are looking for an improvement and it is down to us as players to deliver that.”
The former Lincoln City man says that he jumped at the chance to join the club following his chat with the management, and believes that Trinity could be his route back into the professional game.
“Although the security is good, what has tempted me is a club with an increasing reputation.”
“Every player wants to play at the highest level possible and that ambition attracted me to the club.”
“I’d love to return to playing in the Football League, and what better way to do it than with Gainsborough Trinity?”
Clarke was joined in the new-look Trinity squad by former Eastwood midfielder Jonathan D’Laryea, and centre-half Mark Gray, formerly of Grimsby Town.
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TRINITY’S friendly at home to Scunthorpe United has been put back 24 hours to Wednesday 20th July.