Ex-Stags striker tipped to shine with Yellows

Hucknall Town manager, Andy Graves.
Hucknall Town manager, Andy Graves.

Hucknall Town boss Andy Graves has tipped loan star Devante Reittie to light up the Central Midlands Football League South Division.

Reittie, on loan from Evo-Stik Northern Premier League side Coalville, scored one and set up another for the Yellows in Saturday’s 5-1 win over Swanwick Pentrich Road.

The striker was released by Mansfield Town in the summer and Graves believes the 18-year-old can make his way up the leagues if he continues to impress with Hucknall.

Reittie had been on loan at Spalding earlier this season before a move to Hucknall emerged when the Yellows’ boss put in a call to Coalville manager Tommy Brookbanks.

“We were a striker down after letting Matt Brian go and we hadn’t had much depth. I got in touch with Tommy and asked if he had any strikers wanting game time and it fell right,” said Graves.

“He’s got a great attitude for a young lad. He’s got pace, which we didn’t see to his true potential on a tight pitch at Swanwick, but he has got pace and a bit of class about him.

“He reminded me of when we had Niall Thompson a couple of years ago, who came from the pro game (with Torquay United) and was looking to get back into it. For as long as we’ve got him he’s a good addition and I have to thank Tommy for that.”

“If he puts in the performances and people take notice then I’m sure he will (move up the leagues). I’ll give Tommy feedback and if he keeps scoring and performing well then I’m sure he’ll want him back as well.”

Sam Hawkins and Jordan Phillips were also on target for Hucknall in the five-star showing at Swanwick, while Joseph Ashurst bagged a brace in the win which followed a midweek Notts Senior Cup tie victory over Collingham.

“We were pleased with the performance on Saturday,” said Graves. “It followed on from the midweek game against Collingham, where we were pretty poor to be honest - which shows how fickle football is, we ground out a 1-0. Yet the week before we thought we played pretty well at Sherwood but just didn’t take our chances.

“We went into the Swanwick game off the back of a win and as poor as we’d played we had the confidence with the win and we put in a really good performance at Swanwick - and that’s a really difficult place to go, not many teams will go up there and get points; they’re a tough and resilient side.

“We played well, especially in the second half, we played probably as best as we’ve ever played up there.”

And added: “We made a few changes on Wednesday. I think the problem we’ve got is we’re not getting ourselves up for the cup games. Last year they got in the way of our league games.

“We wanted to give a few players the opportunity and made some changes. It was a pretty awful night and rained all the way through - but we ground out a win.

“Saturday, we made tactical changes that worked well.”

Hucknall turn their attentions to a home match against rock bottom Teversal Reserves on Saturday.

Teversal were stuffed 9-0 by Aslockton & Orston the last time they played, have a minus-30 goal difference and have picked up just one point from their eight games so far this season, losing seven.

But Graves is taking nothing for granted.

“There’s no ‘gimmies’ in this league at all. If you’re not on your game, you’re going to get beaten. You can’t take anyone lightly so we won’t be going out there taking them lightly,” he said.