Dave Rainford extends Clarets stay

PUBLISHED: 12:55 19 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:16 04 March 2010

REIGNING Chelmsford City Player of the Year, midfielder Dave Rainford, has been rewarded for making a huge impact in his first season with the Clarets by signing an extension to his existing contract, keeping him at the club for an additional year and handing head coach Glenn Pennyfather an early close-season boost.

REIGNING Chelmsford City Player of the Year, midfielder Dave Rainford, has been rewarded for making a huge impact in his first season with the Clarets by signing an extension to his existing contract, keeping him at the club for an additional year and handing head coach Glenn Pennyfather an early close-season boost.

Rainford, who joined from Dagenham & Redbridge last summer, was City's top scorer last season and the leading appearance maker but, after such a glittering debut campaign, his feet remain firmly on the ground.

“I haven't set any personal targets for next season because I know if we're up there challenging as a team that means I will have been doing my job properly,” he explained after putting pen to paper.

“I couldn't have hoped to have settled so quickly and from the start I was pleased to come to Chelmsford because I hoped the club would be interested in me when I left Dagenham.”

City's lynchpin central talent collected 18 goals in 2008/09, including a hat-trick early in the season against Eastleigh at home, and he was additionally named in the Blue Square South 'Team of the Year' by Conference Officials at their annual dinner recently, a fact he was unaware of until now.

“That's wonderful news! If something like that never happens again then it's great it happened in my first year here. It's a sign that we can now progress as a squad and improve next season, both in the league and in the cups,” he added.

Dave completed a move to City a year ago from the Daggers, with the Clarets clambering over a posse of renowned clubs fighting for his signature. He was the only part-timer in the Football League at the time, combining the game with his job as a teacher which he maintains today. He began his career with Colchester United as a trainee and professional before spending time on loan then joining a progressive Grays Athletic team. He later enjoyed a three-year spell at Bishop's Stortford before effectively making his name by playing a vital part in Dagenham's elevation to League status.

“To be a central midfielder you need to have a good engine and I'm really pleased with the goals I've been able to contribute,” he continued. “In this position you're in the thick of things all the time and you're involved either way, whether you're attacking or defending. I knew Chelmsford were a good passing side when I joined so I've had to maintain that part of my game as well because of how we play good football.”

The capture of Rainford for an extended period was welcomed by Pennyfather, who intends to continue using him as a crucial midfield figure, claiming: “This new deal is a reward for Dave after a good season with us as he is part of the foundation of our team. He's been consistent and we couldn't have asked any more of him. We need to build a spine for next season, including a goalkeeper and some centre-backs to accompany Steve Robinson and Steve Ward. James Lawson has left us to join Welling United it seems. We wish him all the best there as his chances would have been limited with us.”

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