Gresley Skipper Makes It 600 Not Out And He Isn’t Hanging His Boots Up Just Yet

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On Saturday Gresley FC captain Jamie Barrett made his 600th appearance for the Derbyshire club in their 1-0 defeat to Basford United in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South. 
It was a landmark moment that Barrett felt honoured to achieve and he isn’t thinking about hanging up his boots just yet as he aims for the title of record number of appearances for the club.

The skipper said: “I’m going to take it one season at a time.

“I’m 33 now, nearly 34. The record for the club is 621, which I should get if I play next season.

“But I’m not looking for any milestones it’s all about my body and when I know it’s time to finish, at the minute I feel confident in the fact that I can still a job at this level and I will until myself or the manager thinks any different, I want to play.”

When he does retire the former Sheffield United trainee will be a big loss to the game and will be most certainly suited for a role in management.

Barrett has already had a taste for life on the touchline as he was number Two for a couple of seasons at the Moat Ground.

He said: “I was Assistant Manager for a couple of seasons before this season so I’ve had a taste of it and you don’t realise how much time it takes out of you.

“So what I will do is probably have a break from football, recharge my batteries and if an opportunity comes around then I would have a think about it if anything came about.”

Barrett first came onto the scene for the Moatmen back in 2002 some 15-years ago and while players have come and gone a lot has stayed the same for the club.

Although the team did have to reform back in 2009 and drop into the East Midlands Counties League, which is at step 5 in the Non-league pyramid .

Barrett said: “The club has reformed as Gresley Rovers went bust and the club had to restart.

“Not a lot has changed other than that, same ground, same faces around the club, we are playing at the same level as when I first joined.

“The only thing that has changed is my age which has got older.”

Being a veteran of so many games he has played alongside and against a number of players. Some of which have gone onto feature in the Football League or had done before dropping down the divisions.

Barrett picked out some familiar faces he has shared the pitch with, including a current Premier-League winner and England International.

He said: “ I’ve played with some players who have gone onto the Football League Aaron Connor and  Louis Briscoe, who went to Mansfield at the time.
“There has been plenty of good players who I’ve played with and against, from the likes of Jamie Vardy to old faces who have gone down the leagues at the back end of their career. But there are that many I’ve faced I can’t really remember.”

Barrett has also had success with the club throughout his time there and chose some of the most memorable moments he has enjoyed with the club.

He said: “There has been a few, obviously winning back to back promotions when the club first reformed to get back to the level we are at now that was one of the main highlights.

“Playing Wrexham away in the FA Trophy when we took 850 fans was another one, which was a great day for the club after it had reformed with all the hard work people put in and generally getting the club back to where it is now from when the old club left.
“It’s unbelievable we got there and I think the club is better for it.”
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About Author

Freelance Journalist based in the North of England. Having supported Chorley FC for the majority of his life, Richard moved down to Stoke-on-Trent to study Journalism at Staffordshire University in 2011, he graduated with a 2:1 three years later. He has since worked as Press Officer of Nantwich Town between 2014-2016 and lead the coverage of the Dabbers run to the FA Trophy semi-final in 2016. Richard also wrote and published his first book in May 2016 about Nantwich Town and their greatest moment when the club won the FA Vase in 2006. The book is entitled When Nantwich Turned The Vase Green. Richard can often be found at games on a Saturday covering matches for a verity of newspapers across England.

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