Boro break transfer record to land Craig Reid
Six figure deal sees Odubade and Griffin go to Newport County
STEVENAGE have broken the club’s transfer record to sign striker Craig Reid from Newport County.
The six-figure deal, which also sees Boro strikers Yemi Odubade and Charlie Griffin join the Blue Square Bet side on loan, was completed two hours before the transfer deadline on Monday evening.
Reid, who started his career at Ipswich Town and counts Coventry City and Cheltenham Town amongst his former clubs, was the Blue Square South’s Player of the Year and top scorer during the 2009-10 season when he scored 24 goals in Newport’s charge to the title.
The Coventry-born 25-year-old has scored 18 goals so far this season.
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Boro’s strikers have struggled for goals this season with 12 forwards scoring just 14 goals between them in 24 league games, and with Graham Westley’s men just seven points off the play-off places the club will be hoping Reid will enable them to push for a top seven finish come the end of the season.
Despite Boro insisting they were not flushed with funds to spend in the transfer market, chairman Phil Wallace said the transfer fee paid for Reid beats the previous record ‘by a long way’.
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Speaking about the deal, Wallace said: “We’ve agreed not to disclose the fee, but it’s a club record by a long way for both Newport and ourselves.
“Graham (Westley), along with many managers, has long been an admirer of Craig Reid but he’s been one of those unavailable players that you like and know will improve your side, but that you’re just unable to sign.
“We’ve had several brief conversations with Newport during January (Boro were also said to be interested in Jamie Collins but could lose out to Aldershot in the race for the midfielder), but sometimes on deadline day you can do what you think is the right deal for everyone.
“It wasn’t easy as there was a lot of competition and I’ve spent nearly the whole day in talks making it happen, but we’re delighted to have made this important signing.”
Wallace added that he was hopeful of further loan signings in the next month or two.
“It will no doubt take Craig a while to get used to the Football League, but he’s got a great future and has the capability to play at a high level before too long.
“We’re slowly and carefully rebuilding the look of our squad to cope with the requirements of the Football League, going about our business in a focused, structured manner, and I’ve no doubt that a few more will follow on loan during the next few months.
“Our intention is always to win the next game and be well positioned for the second half of the season.”
Griffin and Odubade leave the club on loan after difficult seasons.
Despite Westley insisting Griffin was ‘central to my plans’ and had ‘no intention to let him go’ just two weeks ago, it seems that the 31-year-old and strike partner Odubade going out on loan to Newport was key to greasing the wheels of the deal.
Both strikers have struggled with form this season.
Griffin started well for Boro and scored three goals in his first four games but has not scored since bagging a brace against Stockport County on August 21, while Odubade, who has just returned from injury, has also had a torrid season scoring just once in the league – against Crewe in September – and once in the FA Cup.
Boro hope Reid will be available for their home match against Gillingham tomorrow night (Tuesday).