Sammy Rainey: Does not play to gallery

December 15, 1923
There is an old and rather audacious saying that all goalkeepers are mad, but the person who would have the temerity to make the remark to any custodian’s face might well be classed under the same category. However, whether the assertion has any truth or not it must be admitted many guardians of the last line have their little whims and peculiarities.

It does not follow, however, that those with some unusual field mannerisms are not safe men for their position. Samuel Rainey, of Barn, does not possess an of the eccentricities which give rise to the expression quoted above, yet he is a splendid keeper. It is not, therefore, essential for a man to have some out-of-the-way characteristics to bring him into the class of first-flight custodians.

Rainey by pure merit has earned for himself the right to be included in the list of our best. He does not employ the gallery method of dealing with opposition efforts to penetrate his defence, but sound judgment and safe hands are better characteristics, and in these Rainey appears to be a firm believer.

At the same time the Barn man has made some thrilling saves since the entry of his team into senior football. He is quick on his feet, quick in detecting danger, and, perhaps best of all, has the good sense to anticipate an opponent’s intentions, and this position himself for what may appear to the spectators to be a direct shot, but what is, after all, a most dangerous and deceptive effort.

When Barn were admitted to the Senior League they felt that the team which did duty for them in Alliance football would have to be materially strengthened. They set out to secure a team that would uphold the traditions of the historic town, but when they came to the position of goalkeeper they felt that in Rainey they had a man in whom their last line was in safe keeping.

He is the only player of last year’s Junior team who has played in every match since Barn’s promotion to Senior circles. That in itself is a sufficient recommendation of the player’s worth, but outside his own club circles Rainey has earned the name of being one of the best men in his position in Irish football.

Rainey has entered on his third season with the Black and Tans, and unless something out of the ordinary happens, he looks to be their custodian for years to come. A Ballymena youth, of a retiring disposition, Rainey found his way to Carrick via Cliftonville Olympic. He is very popular with his clubmates and Barn supporters, and it will not be his fault of the “goals against” in the table opposite the name of Barn will be such as to reflect creditably upon his powers of custodianship.
(Source: Ballymena Weekly Telegraph: December 15, 1923; via © 2018 Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited

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