Club News

New signing out to aid Blue Toon after quitting Iceland

Mon 13 Mar 2017

From the cold of Iceland to the heat of the battle.

Craig Reid has joined Peterhead until the end of the season determined to aid the Blue Toon's survival bid.

The 31 year old defender is glad to be backing playing again after enjoying a spell with Keflavik sampling a different type of football and way of life in the Nordic nation.

Reid, formerly of Motherwell, Queen of the South and Dunfermline, said: "I had the opportunity to go back to Iceland but I decided to stay in Scotland."

"One of the big reasons was because I would have had to wait until July to come back so that would have affected me getting a club next year as well."

"I don't know what will happen longer term because obviously I am just in the door at Peterhead."

"Saturday was my first competitve game since September so I am just going to take it game by game and we will see from there."

Reid is surprised to find his new team languishing at the bottom end of League 1, with basement side Stenhousemuir and ninth-placed Albion Rovers hot on the heels of the Blue Toon.

Reid said: "I was at Dunfermline last year and Peterhead and Ayr Utd were the two teams challenging us."

"I have become used to seeing Peterhead up at the top end of the table but my first impressions of the club are positive."

"I have played at Balmoor before with Queen of the South in a Challenge Cup tie and I scored so hopefully our own patch can become a lucky ground for me."

"I am just looking to bring some experience and help the club out."

In quitting Iceland, Reid leaves behind a country, which has been punching well above its footballing weight on the international scene.

Despite a population of just over 300,000, the small island caused shockwaves at Euro 2016.

Iceland sent England out of the competition with a famous win in the knock-out phase after they recorded impressive results in the initial group stage.

On the other hand, Scotland cannot even qualify for a tournament, let alone think about progressing to the latter stages. 1998 was the Scots' last appearance at a major event.

So why the disparity?

Reid, shedding some light on the situation, said: "They are developing players well in Iceland."

"We saw that in the Euros last summer and they have got a great infrastructure for the youth set-up."

"All the clubs there have astro pitches and swimming pools and they start playing football at a young age."

"Although they have a small population, they are producing quality players, who are moving abroad and playing in top leagues including in England."

Reid continued: "What you notice is the amount of pitches with goals and nets up and they do not price the kids out of playing football. The youngsters play until the sun goes down."

"In Scotland, I think it can be too expensive for children to play football by the time they hire out pitches and facilities."

"In Iceland, the attitude is to give them a ball and let them come home when they are finished. We could learn something from that."

"The game in Scotland is bigger in terms of the four-tier SPFL set up but you can see how well the Iceland national team are performing so they are doing something right in breeding players."

"I enjoyed it there and it was a good life experience to live somewhere else and sample a different culture."

 

By Glenn Moir