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Gav’s here to stay

A PALMERSTON return last summer did not go according to script for Gavin Reilly but he’s determined to prove his doubters wrong

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By Zac Hannay
Sport
Gav’s here to stay

A consistent run of games and a couple of goals during a loan spell with Stenhousemuir has left the striker fighting fit and hungry for success this season.

The sharpness acquired while on loan does not seem to have wavered – it only took the 30-year-old three minutes to hit the back of the net in the side’s first pre-season friendly against East Kilbride on Saturday, the match ended 1-1. Regardless of the result, goals breed confidence.

OFF THE MARK . . . Reilly opened the scoring minutes into the East Kilbride friendly   Pic: QOS

Reilly’s sizzling form during his first spell in a Queens shirt secured him a move to Hearts in the summer of 2015.

Time with a number of other clubs, both north and south of the border, was to follow.

Wullie Gibson brought the Gretna-born forward back to the club on a two-year deal last summer.

Everyone had their eyes set on an instant return to the championship. But the Doonhamers never really picked up any momentum and they dwindled in mid-table.

Reilly ended up being shipped out on loan to Stenhousemuir for the second half of the campaign after incoming manager Marvin Bartley told the 30-year-old he was free to leave.

AIMING HIGH . . . the forward wants to help fire Queens to success this season    Pic: QOS

However, a new season means a fresh start and the forward wants to stay and help Queens achieve glory this term.

Reilly said: “I’ve got another year on my contract, I want to be here, I want to stay, I want to play here and I want to be successful here.

“That’s the aim, and that’s everyone’s aim this season. We need to improve on last season.

“The lads did really well come the end of the season, hopefully we can take that into this one.

“There’s a lot of competitive teams in the league but at the end of the day we know we’re good enough to compete, so we just need to work hard through pre-season, enjoy the cup games when they come, and hopefully progress in that and then look forward to our next league game.”

He added: “I played basically every game when I went (to Stenhousemuir). I missed the last game with a slight knock.

“I went there and played, got game time, scored a couple of goals and got a couple of assists.

“I’ve gone away and I’ve used that to come back fit this pre-season and I’m just looking to build on last season.

“It wasn’t good enough from myself and the team, but we want to try and improve on that this year.

“I think it’s important (that we get off to go a good start) because if you look at last season the guys nearly achieved the play-offs in the end.

“I know there’s been seasons where teams have come from nowhere and made the play-offs, but it’s always better to be up there and hanging about in there than trying to catch up.

“The first game last season at home to Clyde just wasn’t good enough. “That’s done now. Last season’s done and you can’t change that.

“We need to look forward to the first game, take it quarter by quarter and see where that takes us.”

He is also relishing the derby games against Annan Athletic after the Black and Golds earned promotion to League One.

Reilly added: “I think all the fans will be really looking forward to (the Annan) games.

“They’ve got some players that were here at the club in previous years. Perhaps they will have a point to prove.

“I think every game’s going to be competitive this year. There’s no team that you could say are favourites at the moment to go up or down. We just need to look after ourselves.

“The games down at Annan will be great, I can see it being a full house.

“Annan were good last season when we played against them. I watched their games in the play-offs, when they got promotion, and they looked really good.

“They will be just as strong this season and we’ve got to be wary.

“But ultimately it’s down to ourselves, we know that we’re good enough on our day and we just need to take it from there.

“I played at Galabank for the first time competitively when I was at Stenhousemuir.

“I’ve only got three grounds left to go in Scotland and I get two of them this year with Stirling Albion and Cove.

“Personally that’s nice to tick off, but we just need to take every game when it comes.”

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