Dan Gray – The Skrill Stretch Armstrong!
Former Chesterfield FC full-back and defensive midfielder Dan Gray has been terrific and instrumental in the Imps two clean sheets, 1 goal conceded and 7 points from the opening – unbeaten – 3 games. Those long throws are like something out of a cartoon and his desire to get up and down faster than a bride’s nightie, continue to endear him to Lincoln City fans. If the lad had the pace – oh but he can dribble and deliver – he would be playing in the championship by now. But then beauty and beast are in the eye of the beholder in the League the telly money almost forgot.
Thanks for Reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Dan is an STMI favourite, for his determination and bloody mindedness as much as anything else, but he certainly has some quality to go with his never say die attitude. Those throws are unreal, his arms have the elasticity of stretch Armstrong or some clockwork toy that is but one twist from being over-wound. Talking of which – its just the one booking too, so far this season and this, for a man who personifies the none-shall-pass motto. Firm but fair he puts the ‘R’ into the SkRill Premier week in week out. His new 1 year deal at Lincoln City – Simmo has now signed him for Macclesfield and The Imps – illustrates the faith the two have in each others respective abilities. This is fantastic news as Dan will be vital to our play-off push next season.
Dan was considered something of a teenage prodigy and, at just 18, became a regular in the Chesterfield side making 24 starts in his first season and 19 the following term. The club was going places with an ambitious chairman backing John Sheridan to the hilt. He struggled to get into the team as the Spireites went up as League 2 Champions, earning a promotion to befit a well appointed new stadium. Simmo took him on loan to Macc in 2011, where Dan repaid the faith, scoring on his début before making 23 appearances over two spells.
Then, as last season, he was shackled in a now typecast right-back role, given a defensive midfield berth is his best and most natural position. His cross for Taylor’s equaliser against Tamworth, after his own goal put us one down, epitomises Dan. He has been keen to overlap, using technique rather than pace to outwit his opponent. He will be skinned occasionally for this reason, but his timing in the tackle is good, as just 21 recorded fouls at a cost of 3 yellows and a red illustrates.
Dan also has a fantastic long throw that will be a key weapon for Simmo’s six-foot soldiers to exploit again next season. This led to Vadaine’s second goal against Hyde, to leave Dan on 6 assists for the season, a record most full-backs would be proud of. For one with such a good right-foot, it is a shame he does not shoot more (8 last term) with his only goal, a header, giving us a 7th minute lead on the way to a four goal first-half rout of Dartford.
Dan certainly has a composure well beyond his 23 years, suggesting this will be the season that finally proves John Sheridan wrong. Managers, formations and the fates play such a big part in the making and breaking of a footballers career. But Simmo is just the manager to develop and fully utilise a talented and versatile lads talents.
This is a big attraction for a manager who tends to shy away from the rigidity of 4-4-2, as well as our limited resources going into a vital but optimistic campaign. Come on Dan put pen to paper, as an all round package you will serve us reliably at BSP level knowing you have a manager who will improve you and not stand in your way when opportunity knocks.
|FULL NAME||Daniel Adam Gray|
|DATE OF BIRTH||23 November 1989 (age 23)|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Mansfield|
|HEIGHT/WEIGHT||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in) 12 st (76kg)|
|PLAYING POSITION||Right/centre back central Midfield|
|SENIOR STATS (LGE & CUP)|
|2008||Alfreton Town (loan)||n/a||(?)|
|2011||Macclesfield Town (loan X 2)||23||(1)|
|2011 – date||Lincoln City||42||(0)|