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Diet of goals feeds ‘fat lad’ Jamie Reed
JAMIE REED has laughed off the fat boy tag as he builds up for another promotion battle with York City – but does want to put extra weight on his goal tally.
The striker has dismissed setting specific goal targets for 2012/13 after a season in which he fell short of his personal aims despite playing his part as the team achieved the ultimate ambition of winning a place back in the Football League.
But he is looking forward to making a good contribution, and topping his 12-goal tally of last term, as the Minstermen seek a second successive rise up the tiers.
Reed found the net in the midweek friendly at Gateshead ahead of City’s next outing at Grantham tomorrow.
“I’ve had targets before but I’m going into this season open-minded,” he said, having set a 30-goal objective 12 months ago. “I set myself a ridiculous target last year and didn’t make it, though I was hoping I’d be playing every game.
“I’ll see what happens this year and take whatever comes my way, and if I beat last year’s goal tally then I will be happy.”
The 24-year-old was speaking during special health checks at Bootham Crescent carried out by an expert team of practitioners sent by new shirt sponsors Benenden Healthcare.
The players were tested for blood sugars, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, heart strength and body fat, and results, perhaps surprisingly to some, showed that bulky striker Reed’s body fat ratio was exactly the same as slimline flying forward Matty Blair .
“I’m very happy with my results – quite impressed really. Everyone thinks I’m the fat guy but not any more,” joked Reed.
“I’ve worked hard in pre-season but I do that every year. I think it’s just the way I look in a kit.”
Half of Reed’s 42 outings last term came off the bench and, while he did not mind a “super-sub” label, he now wants to win a starting role more often.
“I think that’s everyone’s aim,” said the former Bangor hot-shot.
“I got myself a few goals last season and ended up totalling up quite a few appearances but you want to play as many games as you can and I’m no different. The team as a whole did brilliantly, though, and we’re a squad.”
That squad could yet be bolstered by Dominic Knowles, who has been released by Burnley and could provide Reed with more competition up front should he be offered a contract.
“That’s up to the manager. He did well on Tuesday and got himself a goal,” said Reed.
“Anything that’s going to make the squad better is good for the club. It gives the manager more of a headache on a Friday afternoon.”
He added: “Pre-season has so far gone well. From a personal point I feel sharp and as a team we’ve won all our games apart from Oldham which was a bit disappointing but it’s not about results, it’s about fitness and getting up to standard for the first game of the season.
“We’re well on the way and everyone’s going well. We’re all just trying to get in top shape for August 11.”
City kick off their season then at Doncaster in the League Cup first round.
Preparation continues with a training camp in Rutland, which includes a game against Grantham Town tomorrow (3pm).
“It worked well last year so hopefully it’s a good omen and we can have a similar season this time,” said Reed of the Rutland break. “We went there last year and had such a good season so why not do it again.”
As for the health testing, he added: “I’ve had an ECG (heart check) before but this is the first time it’s been organised around the football.
“It’s definitely a good thing. The results give you a base of where you’re at and where you need to get to.”
The Fabrice Muamba incident last season, when the Bolton player nearly died of a heart attack on the pitch, brought health checks back into the spotlight.
Health checks crucial
YORK City physio Jeff Miller – who witnessed at first hand the David Longhurst tragedy at York in 1990 – said: “The importance of these sorts of checks for our players cannot be stressed enough.
“Statistics show at least 12 apparently healthy young people a week die of undiagnosed cardiac-related abnormalities.
“For our players, who are athletes performing at the highest levels, it is essential we know they are safe and not putting themselves at any sort of risk.”