Writer: Site Staff
Date:Thursday June 19 2014
Accrington Stanley have today confirmed that striker James Gray has now put pen to paper on a new two year contract with the club.
The Northern Ireland U21 international turned 22 next week, and last season he scored eight times in 23 starts for the club as we battled back admirably from how we began the season to secure League Two football in 2014-15.
Speaking to the Official Site after signing the deal, the youngster said.
'After scoring three in the last two games I can't wait to get going again. I didn't want the season to end but obviously it did and I'm just buzzing to have signed again and hopefully get some more goals when the season starts again.'
Gray goes on to say that there was never any doubt that he would leave the club once he knew we would offer him a new deal, and an offer was put in 'stone' before the season ended that he would be offered new terms, so he went away on international duty and then holiday happy the club would keep their word, knowing he'd come back to a new deal that could be signed.
'It was just about terms after that, I think I was always going to stay here, it was never in any doubt.'
Having first impressed whilst on trial at the club along with 'a hundred people', Gray is now in his third year with us and he admits it's certainly been a 'rollercoaster' of a journey for him, but it's one he's thoroughly enjoyed.
'It's a huge compliment that the manager wants me to stay. He's one of the big reasons why I've stayed at the club. Hopefully I can keep working closely with him. The improvements in my performances at the end of last season were mainly down to him so hopefully I can repay him again next season.'
With Gray one of a number of players out of contract this summer, manager James Beattie was also obviously delighted to see him officially sign up for the next few years because he believes he can play a big part in helping us to push on up the table.
'James had a great end to the season and there were a lot of people approaching me about him and talking about him in a good light, which we expect because he's a great player, a very nice young man and very well mannered. I think he's improved on the pitch and I think he loves working with me on a one to one basis.'
Beattie goes on to say that he's more than happy to share his own playing talent and experiences with players at the club, but James has certainly relished that chance and taken a 'special interest' in working one on one because he knows what the gaffer can help him achieve in his own development.
Date:Thursday June 19 2014
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