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Bantams one big happy family, says Kyel Reid
For most, the memories of Temple Bar in Dublin are usually of the hazy variety.
But Kyel Reid can recall his words on a team night out last July with crystal clarity.
City had just finished their first pre-season boot camp in Ireland and Phil Parkinson allowed the squad to let their hair down in a few bars.
Reid, his first signing the year before, could sense something special about the group.
“When we all went out on that Saturday night, I could feel the team spirit. I just knew then that this club could go a long way.
“Ask any of the boys and they’ll remember that I told everyone this feels like a promotion squad.”
It proved to be no Irish blarney as Reid’s pub prediction was backed up on a glorious May afternoon at Wembley.
The winger, recently reinstalled into Phil Parkinson’s starting plans, has seen it all as he relishes his third season with the club. From the survival fight of year one, to two Wembley finals and now a pretty decent start in League One.
Reid added: “It was not going to happen quickly. The gaffer needed his time to put the squad he wanted together and he’s done very well with that.
“Even with the new signings he’s brought in like Raffa (De Vita) and Yeatesy (Mark Yeates), there’s that togetherness and never-say-die spirit.
“We all get on. There’s no bitching or fighting against each other.
“You’ve got to get on if you want the best.
“The teams that do so well are the ones that get on so well and there’s no jealousy among them.”
Parkinson has always stressed the importance of bringing in the “right characters” – players are not judged purely on ability but the way they can adapt within the group and motivate those around them.
“He might not be in the team at the moment but he’s a leader behind the scenes, whether it’s in the changing room or on the training pitch.
“He works hard and wants to win and is always behind the boys and cheering them on. That rubs off on all the lads.
“Sometimes you might have a bad apple who is not in the team and that can affect the dressing room. But we’ve got none of that here.
“Whether we’re playing or not, there’s that spirit behind us.”
Reid had to bide his time in the opening weeks of the new campaign as Yeates got his chance.
Having come back in for the last three games, he knows there are no guarantees that he will start again at Gillingham tomorrow.
“You need people that you can trust to do that and the gaffer has done that with the squad he’s built.
“Whoever puts on the shirt, you know they will put everything in for the team.”
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