Sean Shields played another starring role in Fleet’s Bank Holiday blitz of Margate – but the popular winger could well have been wearing a blue shirt had his proposed move to the coast not fallen through last season.
And Fleet boss Daryl McMahon is delighted that it did. “I never wanted Sean to go and that’s why he’s still here,” McMahon told FleetOnline. “We had a conversation at the time that if he was offered a certain contract, which he felt was better long-term than we could do for him at the time in terms of the extra year, then if it was something he wanted to think about, we’d let him. And in terms of game time, too, because of the way his season panned out, that if there was something that was a better option for him, then we’d respect his decision.
“But it didn’t happen, he stayed here and got into the side at the back end of last season. He’s a player I’ve always liked. I brought him to the club; I got him in on loan when I first got the caretaker role as I knew what he could do from Dagenham. I’ve known him a long time and he knows what I think of him.”
Shields sat out the first 70 minutes of the Eastbourne game on Saturday but McMahon said that was no reflection on the player. “I was never going to play the same 11 on Saturday as I did on Monday. Players have run through brick walls with us light on bodies since pre-season and with two games in less than 48 hours in those conditions, with injuries to Stuart Lewis and Danny Kedwell too, I wanted players fresh across both the games. I wanted the whole squad to dig in and get the results and that’s what they did.
“Across the season, Sean will be a big player for us. He’s got individual brilliance as we saw with the goal against Hemel and he’s just got to believe in himself and do it more because he has the ability to score more goals. He’ll have plenty of time to do that here at Ebbsfleet.”