Crusaders striker Rainey’s not Short of goals
It's nothing personal when David Rainey puts the ball in the back of the Glentoran net but he can’t help celebrating such a champagne moment.
His workmates at Shorts may constantly remind him of his amusing goal celebrations but as long as he’s scoring for the high flying Crues he can take the verbal onslaught.
Rainey is the league’s top marksman with eight of his 11 goals coming in the Premiership but he struggled to score against his former Oval team-mates up until the CIS Insurance Cup semi-final last season.
He grabbed the winner at Windsor Park on that occasion and another goal at the Oval in August earned Stephen Baxter’s side a 1-1 draw in the league.
The Glentoran defence will have to keep a close eye on the Crues’ lethal weapon if they hope to knock the Shore Road men off top spot.
“I work at Shorts aircraft factory and the boys are always reminding me of my goal celebrations but I just love scoring,” said Rainey who won everything at the Glens apart from the Coca-Cola Cup.
“It’s nothing personal — I don’t care who I score against. I simply love scoring goals.
“Ever since I was a kid I set myself a 20 goals a season target and I have made a good start this season.
“I joined the Crues when they went down to the First Division but the team has grown and improved so much since then and nothing would please me more than to win a trophy with the club.
“At Linfield and Glentoran success is demanded but at clubs like the Crues and Ards, silverware is a real treat for everyone.”
Rainey could be forgiven for attempting a few cartwheels tomorrow if he nets at Seaview.
Fearing his star man might land awkwardly, Baxter would not appreciate the reaction but he would acknowledge the importance of a goal against their title-chasing rivals.
“It’s always a big test when one of the Big Two come to Seaview but they still have to be favourites for the title,” added Rainey.
“If we are eight points clear in March I might fancy ourselves but there’s no point in anyone talking about the title at this stage.
“Crusaders have played well in the big games and we don’t fear anyone.
“It’s up to us and sides like Coleraine and Lisburn Distillery to keep challenging the Blues and Glens. It’s good to see a league which is fiercely competitive.
“Up until last season I hadn’t scored against the Glens but that has all changed now and my goal is to keep scoring.”