The Return of Dayle Grubb after the midfielder rejoins Weston from Forest Green Rovers
PUBLISHED: 13:00 14 August 2020
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Last Thursday saw Weston announce the resigning of Dayle Grubb, following his release from Forest Green Rovers, on a four-year-deal.
Excitement was paramount as fans all over social media commented on his resigning, with Rhys Gregory admitting it’s the “happiest I’ve ever been as a supporter” on Twitter.
“Dreams do come true,” added Seagulls fan Ty Endersby.
As for Grubb, his return to the club, which saw him score the opening goal of their first pre-season friendly with Bridgwater Town in his first game back, has left him delighted to be back.
“It’s good to be back,” said Grubb.
“I obviously have a great affinity with the club having been there for so long before, I still have a lot of friends at the club and I get on really well with the management team, so I’m happy to be back.
“I’ve had a lot of really nice messages and comments since I’ve been back, it’s also nice for my family to hear the nice things that have been said because it’s been a tough year or so for me.
“I really appreciate the support the fans have shown me since I’ve come back and I hope to repay them with good performances.”
In his first spell with the club, Grubb, following his depature from Bristol City academy at the age of 16, went on to score 95 goals and provide 105 assists in his 360 appearances, during a nine-year stay with Weston before signing for Rovers in January 2018.
“Obviously playing in the Football League was always something I wanted to achieve and I must admit I started to doubt whether I would get the opportunity,” admitted Grubb.
“Overall it was a great experience for me playing at some great stadiums and against some good opposition and I would like to think I gave a really good account of myself.
“I am more experienced being around some high quality and experienced players so I may be able to bring some of that to the team and help the team push on.”
But what Grubb, or football, didn’t expect was the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
It was estimated around 1,400 players in the English Football League and National League would be free agents from July 1.
And Grubb, who was one of eight players to be released by Forest Green Rovers in June, anticipated the severity of the circumstances as he found it hard to leave League Two.
“Of course it was difficult,” said Grubb, who scored 12 goals in 72 matches for the Gloucestershire side.
“I wanted to try and play league football for as long as possible but the opportunities were limited, there are so many players in a similar situation to me and I felt I had to make a sensible decision and luckily Weston have offered me a good bit of security in this tricky time and it also allows me the opportunity to play closer to home and I know I’ll get that enjoyment back which has been missing for a while.
“It’s a tough situation to be in, not knowing what’s going to happen or where you’ll be playing, but there are so many players in this difficult situation. Luckily I had Weston who made me aware that they were there if it was something I wanted to pursue.
“I always felt I would come back at some point in my career, maybe not this early on, but circumstances change and the football climate has changed.
“I’m just glad to have been given the opportunity to come back and to be made to feel wanted by the management and everyone else at the club.”
But the capture of Grubb shows the real intent from manager Scott Bartlett and his coaching staff as they beat a number of sides to bring the midfielder back home.
“I’ve always kept in touch with both Scotts on a personal level and they offered me the opportunity to go back and train to keep my fitness levels up,” added Grubb.
“I’ve been speaking to various clubs and weighing up which was the best option and Weston let me know that there might be something available if I wanted it and I decided that this was the right step for me to take.
“They have put a lot of faith in me which I’m hugely grateful for. Weston is my hometown club and where I’ve developed as a player. I was there for nearly 10 years as a player and it’s always a place I wanted to return at some stage.
“A lot of the facilities have progressed since I left and there’s a good feel around the club and it’s a good place to be.
“It’s a tight-knit group and it seems there are some great foundations in place.”
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