The Blues broke their silence on the playing front today, announcing experienced midfielder, Jai Reason, as the club’s first signing for the new campaign.
Benfleet-based, the new recruit, 30, arrives after spending two seasons at National League, Dover Athletic.
Turning professional in 2008, he has registered over 500 career appearances. Previous clubs include Cambridge United, Braintree, Eastleigh, Maidstone and, latterly, Dover. Reason is also an England ‘C’ International.
Talks between the Billericay management and the midfielder look to have been ongoing for several weeks before the deal finally got over the line.
However, the allure of working under the management of ex-Premier League star, Jamie O’Hara, proved a powerful draw.
As Reason, explains, “Really excited to get going now…The manager, he’s young, enthusiastic, and wants to go places. I’ve still got that fire to get another promotion under my belt.”
A veteran of the top two tiers of Non-League, he has twice been a Conference South title winner at Braintree and Eastleigh, respectively.
O’Hara will be looking for his know-how and previous experience within what will be a much-changed midfield after the previous campaign.
With his notable achievements, we can expect both a sprinkling of style to match the undoubted substance as the new recruit explains what he will bring to the team,
“I’m mainly a no.10, a midfielder, I like to create goals, pop up with a goal now and then, I like to think that I’m good with set plays, and a talker on the pitch.”
For Reason, it all started in Suffolk. A graduate of the Ipswich Town academy, his 2009 release led to an 18 month stay at Cambridge United.
At just 19, he earnt a runner’s up medal at Wembley in the Conference Premier play-off final versus Torquay United.
Switching to Braintree in 2010, he was part of the 2011 title winning side. Seeking more opportunities to play in a favoured central midfield role, he joined ambitious Eastleigh in summer 2012.
An important creative element, the playmaker helped secure the National South title for the Hampshire outfit in 2013-14, making 250 appearances in a five-year spell.
After a short spell at Boreham Wood, Reason spent two seasons at National League Maidstone United in summer 2017.
Thriving under Jay Saunders’ management, he played both the holding role and behind the main striker, in the preferred midfield three.
Notching five goals in fifty-four matches, he departed in May 2018 following the Stones’ relegation.
Initially joining Chelmsford City, Reason made only nine appearances before heading back to Kent. Linking up with, Dover, in October 2018, Southend-born Reason was man of the match for the non-leaguers in the FA Cup 1st round win versus Southend United in November 2019.
After sixty-one appearances, and six goals over two seasons, Reason came home to Essex.
Achieving a lowly 17th, It is no secret that Billericay are looking to vastly improve on what was a disappointing previous campaign before it was curtailed by coronavirus.
Reason firmly agrees, “We have to be looking at play-off’s minimum, I think this club is big enough”.
Noted for his shooting ability from outside the penalty area, creativity, and, where required, a touch of steel, in Reason, the Blues look to have secured a promising first addition.
With O’Hara confirming three or four signings had been agreed at last week’s investor forum, we expect more signings to be unveiled soon down at New Lodge.