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Interviews

One Of The Happiest I've Been - East

9 February 2024

Interviews

One Of The Happiest I've Been - East

9 February 2024

Ryan East says he is enjoying one of the happiest times of his career at Rochdale Football Club.

The midfielder initially joined on loan from Bradford City in the summer before making that switch permanent in December.

Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester’s Total Sport show on Thursday, East says he fell in love with Dale and wants to repay the faith shown in him by Head Coach Jimmy McNulty.

“I’m loving it,” he commented.

“I signed on loan initially and I just fell in love with the club. I’m really enjoying my football and there was no reason not to commit my future.

“It’s one of the happiest I’ve been playing football, for a long time. The gaffer and the staff have shown a lot of faith in me. I felt that and by me staying, I feel like I’m repaying that faith, and trying to help the club get back to where it belongs in the long run.”

East has started every match since he joined the club in August, racking up 30 appearances and scoring four times.

The former Reading youngster is enjoying working under McNulty and revealed how a former teammate helped the move to Dale come about.

“It’s been amazing [playing for Dale’s Head Coach]. I knew a couple of the lads that played under him last season, and when I knew I could be available for loan, a couple of the lads messaged him and said we’d really get on in terms of a working relationship.

“I feel like it’s been that way since I stepped through the door, and I’ve only got positive things to say about him.

“It came round quite quickly in the summer, and I was speaking to one of my friends that I was at Reading with. He said, ‘Jim would love you at Rochdale, I’ll message him and see what the script is.’ From there it went really quick.”

The 25-year-old also praised the supporters for how they have backed him and the rest of the team this season.

“From the first week I’ve felt the appreciation from the fans. My second game [for the club] was at home, and I felt like I got a good reception that day. It’s grown from there.

“I had a song about me at one point which was nice! I get a lot of nice messages on social media, so it’s been good in that respect.

“From a fans’ point of view, I don’t think last season was the most pleasant of experiences. I think they want to see a squad that fights for the badge, and I think we do that.

“We’ve been in situations this season where we’ve only had 11 or 12 players fit and we’ve been grinding out results. I think that’s what they want to see in a team, and I think we do that for them.”

You can listen to the full interview with East via BBC Sounds. Skip to 41 minutes to hear the start of his interview.

He talks about the National League, camaraderie within the squad, and looks ahead to Saturday's game against Altrincham.


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