Promotion for Nottingham Forest is more than a dream for happy Andy Reid
ANDY Reid would love nothing more than to win promotion to the Premier League with the club and for the city which has been so good to him since his arrival here more than 15 years ago.
The Dubliner arrived in Nottingham aged just 14 to join the renowned Forest Academy under Paul Hart and since then has developed a strong affinity with the club and the city which he now sees as home.
Reid says it would be a proud moment and possibly the biggest achievement of a fantastic career if he were able to taste a return to the top flight with the team that means so much to him.
However, he does recognise that sentiment and emotion count for little and that it will take a lot of hard work to achieve his and Forest's goal.
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Reid said: "To get promoted with Forest would be a dream.
"That's definitely something in the back of my mind that if we can get promoted and play in the Premier League with Forest then it would definitely be up there with the best achievements of my career.
"I tend to take the emotion out of it and try to look at the steps and the processes needed to get us there which are going to be performing week in, week out.
"But if we do that, with the squad of players we have, then there's a good chance we can get promoted."
Reid admits it was a wrench to leave the club and city back in 2005 when he made the move to Tottenham Hotspur in a combined £8million pound transfer with Michael Dawson.
He felt it was a chance he had to take to progress his career, though, and he went on to enjoy six years in the top flight in spells at Charlton, Sunderland and Blackpool before his return to Forest in 2011.
Reid insists it is his aim to return to the Premier League and that target should be the aim of everyone involved with Nottingham Forest.
"I never particularly wanted to leave Forest because I was unhappy here," he said. " I just felt at that time my career was going in the opposite direction from the way the club was going in.
"I had the chance to go and play for a fantastic Premier League club and try something different – to go and play with world class players week in, week out.
"Although I was sad to leave Nottingham, I looked at it as a fresh challenge for me and something I couldn't turn down.
"I've played in the Premier League and done well there and I believe that I'm good enough to play there again.
"It would be nice to do that at Forest if I could, so that's definitely my aim.
"It should be the aim of every player in our squad, of the owners, of the manager, of the supporters – it should be everybody's expectation because this is a big club and that's what we've got to aim for.
"The Premier League is the place to be."
The Irishman explains that his affection for the city stems from the kindness and generosity shown to him when he made the move over from Dublin as a youngster.
He was made to feel welcome by the people of the city and the football club which helped him to settle in the place which he now regards as home.
The life of a footballer can be a nomadic one but regardless of where Reid has played his football, he has always retained a strong connection with the city.
"I came over here young and there were so many great people at the club who were really, really good to me – and the people of Nottingham have been, too," Reid said.
"I've really enjoyed my time here and I feel really settled. It's almost like a home from home for me.
"It's a nice place to live and it's somewhere that a lot of people, when they come to work in Nottingham, tend not to want to move away from.
"This will be the place where I'll settle and even when I moved away I always kept my house here and was back quite a bit, so it's somewhere I'd like to stay.
"Nottingham has been good to me over the years.
"There'd be no reason for me to want to live anywhere else, unless it was somewhere hotter maybe!"
Reid admits that Forest would be somewhere he would be happy to finish his career, but is fully aware that football is a game which can throw up surprises.
"I would like to finish my career at Forest but you never know what's going to happen in football," he said.
"It's difficult to say whether I will or not but especially if the team is successful and I'm playing well in the team then it's definitely somewhere I'd like to stay for the rest of my career.
"I'm not naïve enough to think it's as cut and dry as that – there's always plenty of twists and turns, not just in football but in life."