Bailey's buoyed by Boro return and is eyeing up promotion push

They say ‘never go back’ - but try telling Scarborough Athletic defender Bailey Gooda that.

By Daniel Gregory
Thursday, 11th February 2021, 10:57 am
BAILEY’S BACK: Defender Bailey Gooda is delighted to be back at Scarborough Athletic

Recently voted into our Scarborough Athletic All Time XI by Boro fans, Gooda admits he is delighted to be back with the club for a second spell (third if you class his initial loan spell).

“I’m over the moon to be back with Scarborough Athletic,” said Gooda.

“There’s no better feeling than walking out at the Flamingo Land Stadium in front over over 1,000 Scarborough fans for me.

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“When Darren [Kelly] came in for me, it was a very simple decision to make to come back - such was my enjoyment in my first spell.”

Looking further back, Gooda was with Barnsley from the age of 11 right up until he was released aged 19, despite captaining the Under-21s at the Oakwell club.

“It was a bit of a surprise when they let me go as I’d just captained the Under-21s and had a good season, and to be honest it hit me hard,” added Gooda.

“To go from lacing your boots up every single day to playing part-time at Frickley and working in a warehouse was a huge change for me and it took time to get used to it and adapt.

“It was such a huge change on the field as well as off it. I remember dropping off from a throw-in to receive the ball and try to play out from the back and the left-back shouted over “We don’t do that here mate, we get rid of it”, and it was hard to get used to.

“I do think playing academy football and then non- league has helped me develop though as I believe I can do a bit of everything now.”

After a successful loan spell, Gooda returned to the full time football environment when ex-Boro player Simon Weaver snapped the defender up at Harrogate Town.

Gooda looks back on that spell with regret, scoring a brace on his debut in pre-season but going on to suffer an ankle injury in the same game.

After about five weeks out Gooda struggled to force his way into an in-form Harrogate side and then an approach came from Steve Kittrick’s Scarborough Athletic.

“I didn’t know much about Scarborough Athletic when they came in with a loan offer, but I’d seen they’d signed the likes of James Walshaw on and wanted to go and get some game time in,” added Gooda.

“I loved it from day one.

“The whole club has a great feel to it and everyone made me feel so welcome - especially the fans.

“I didn’t know much about Kittrick or Mark Hume, but presumably they’d watched me play during my time at Frickley.

“I signed a one month loan, and enjoyed it so much we just kept extending it and extending it.”

Gooda helped guide Kittrick’s side to promotion that season, and then quickly had a difficult decision to take in the summer.

“I spoke to Simon Weaver at the end of the season and while he was full of praise for my performances while at Scarborough, he was honest and said I’d have to be patient and would struggle for game time if I stayed there,” he added.

“I’d enjoyed it so much in my time with Boro on loan that I decided to join permanently as I believed we’d be pushing for another promotion.”

Boro couldn’t replicate their promotion-winning form the season earlier and eventually Kittrick lost his job and was replaced by John Deacey.

“I almost felt like Kitty lost faith in me and I couldn’t get back into the team,” added Gooda.

“It was a bit of a strange one and then he eventually lost his job and was replaced by John Deacey, who was a strange character.

“I genuinely believe I’d played my best football that season.

“There were Football League clubs coming to watch me and that genuinely didn’t faze me as I was so focussed on doing well for Boro.

Gooda admits he was set to stay with Boro, having signed a one-year deal with an optional extension if both sides agreed.

Having met Deacey ahead of a trip to America and been told he was integral to the new manager’s plans, he flew to the States happy that he knew where he’d be playing his football in the 2019/20 season.

However, that didn’t materialise, as Gooda recalled: “I had a good chat with John about staying with the club before I went on holiday, he’d told me he really wanted me to stay and was integral to his plans.

“I then got a text at about 7am over there from John saying he was flying out to Thailand and that he was going in a different direction and wishing me all the best.

“It was all very strange and caught me off guard but I had no choice but to move on.”

After time at Hyde United and then another spell under Kittrick, who was now in charge at Matlock Town, Gooda returned to Scarborough under new boss Kelly.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be back with the club,” he added.

“I went to Matlock and had another go playing for Kitty, but I have to admit I wouldn’t do that again having experienced playing for him twice.

“From the moment Darren contacted me I knew I wanted to come back and I just can’t wait to get going again now as it’s been so frustrating with everything that’s going on - but I am a very positive person and just try to remain optimistic.”

Gooda admits he’d like to get back into a full-time football environment, but admits he’d love to achieve that with Scarborough.

“That’s the dream, to get Scarborough up and then hopefully eventually be a full time player for the club,” added Gooda.

“It’s a great club and set up to push on and I don’t see any reason why we can’t.”

And on his inclusion in our All Time XI, Gooda added: “It’s an absolute honour.

“I was a bit overwhelmed to be honest, it’s great to be picked in the team by the club’s fans.”

Gooda has recently launched a new fitness business - BG Fitness. See embedded Tweet or for more information visit https://www.facebook.com/bgfitness8.