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INTERVIEW: To be captain is something I'm really proud of

3 June 2016

Danny Grainger on captaining the club he supports

Club captain Danny Grainger became the star of the show at the end of season awards dinner as he swept the floor with a huge haul of no less than seven awards.

A local lad, it was with a certain amount of pride that he led the team through 44 appearances last season, bagging seven goals along the way - one of which picked up the Goal of the Season award - as they marched on to a top half of the table finish.

Speaking about the season as a whole, he told us: "We have to see it as a successful season. I think we've all looked back at Christmas, and thought about what could have been, but during the second half of the season we haven't done enough to quite get there. 

"As the manager has said, it's about stepping stones and we've come a long way in a short space of time. This time last year we were talking about getting over a relegation battle, but this year we're talking about a top ten finish and almost being in the play-offs.

"We've had two good cup runs, which included a bumper crowd at home for the Everton game, and that's something everyone enjoys. The game at Anfield was a real highlight for us all and with what the fans have had to endure for the last couple of seasons I think it was what they deserved."

On travelling almost 16,000 miles during the season, which included playing home games away and a second trip to Plymouth in the FA Cup, he said: "We knew it was going to be a tough season as soon as we saw the fixtures.

"The cup runs are always a bonus but they added even more miles. I've spoken to Dolly [club physio Neil Dalton] about it and he can't remember the club ever doing more miles than we have this season.

"I think the lads have done well overall. There have been games where we've let ourselves down but you're going to get that over the course of the season. Hopefully now we can kick on." 

Having taking a more senior lead in the dressing room this past season the Penrith-born Carlisle fan admitted that the scale of his responsibilities still hasn't quite sunk in.

"It's weird to think of myself as one of the senior figures," he admitted. "I'm still one of the lads who messes about with everyone. I'm just really enjoying my football and I can't wait for next season. 

"I can't describe the feeling as a local lad of walking out with the captain's armband on at Brunton Park. I've sat on the terraces for years watching my heroes hoping that one day I could play on the pitch. To be captain is something I'm really proud of." 

"I'm really happy with how my season has gone on a personal level," he said. "It was frustrating to get injured when I felt I was starting to hit a bit of good form, and if I'm being honest I didn't quite capture that form once I came back from injury.

"I'm my own biggest critic. I spoke to my dad after I'd been back for a few games and he's a big critic of mine as well. Even he was telling me not to get frustrated because my form would come back. I was frustrated that I couldn't hit the ground running, especially when we were still in touching distance."

"As I say, I've been delighted with how things have gone overall," he concluded. "I think as a club, players and fans we can all start looking up, which is nice, and particularly after the couple of seasons of looking down we've just had." 

Part two of this interview will appear on the official website on Saturday morning.

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