Team captain Danny Grainger looks back at last season
Club captain Danny Grainger took time away from the gym this week to talk to us about last season and his pride at being handed the armband.
“I think we can only say it was a very disappointing season overall,” he said. “If you look back at the start of the season everybody, club and fans, was excited about what we thought was going to come.
“That’s why it’s been really disappointing, and also why it’s massive for us that we’ve stayed in the Football League. We have to make sure we’ve learned from it so we can kick on and do better.”
“It was frustrating for us that we had to go through a season like it because, and as I’ve said from day one, we’re better than that,” he insisted. “I remember sitting with the press in pre-season and telling them there was something special in that dressing room.
“I still believe that, even to this day. Having said that, league tables don’t tell lies and you end up exactly where you deserve to be. We should have done much better with the quality we have in the squad, but it’s one where we have to change the mentality because second best just isn’t good enough any more.”
“I’ve learned a lot about myself through the course of the season,” he admitted. “It’s been difficult for me personally but it was also a memorable one. Not only did I get to play for my club but I got to wear the captain’s armband.
“There are some great memories for me there, but I know I had a dip in form and I hid away a little bit, which is something I never expected I would do. The good thing is I’ve come out of it on the other side as a stronger person and a better player.
“It was a test of character when it happened and it took me by surprise. I didn’t expect the season to go like this and it was rightly put on my shoulders that my performances weren’t good enough. That probably contributed to the way the team played because I went into my shell and I wasn’t getting the best out of players around me, which I know I can do.
“It’s actually the reason why the manager gave me the armband when he came in. He knew I could drive people on and it’s something I’m looking forward to picking up on again next season. I don’t intend to be in a position where I’m letting anyone down ever again.”
“Getting the armband in the first place was a bit of a surprise,” he told us. “I walked into the dressing room and it was sat on top of my kit, so I went to find Kit Man Col to tell him he’d left it in the wrong place.
“He told me the manager had definitely said I was getting it that day but, even then, I didn’t expect to keep it. I expected it to be given to Thir [Paul Thirlwell] when he came back into the team because it was his role as far as I was concerned.
“When he did come back in he made a point of telling me it was mine for the rest of the season, which I thought was really good of him, because it is something I am very proud to be able to do.”
Part two of this interview will appear on the website on Saturday morning where Danny Grainger talks about bouncing back, scoring goals and being ready to go again in August.
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