GRELLA MAY SEEK LOAN
Leeds United striker Mike Grella says he will look to join another club on loan should his playing time not increase this season at Elland Road.
Grella has been at Leeds since signing a contract in February of 2009 but has found it difficult to become part of head coach Simon Grayson's regular rotation.
Having only appeared in 11 League One matches last season for the newly-promoted club, the Glen Cove, New York native says he will seek a loan with another team should he not factor early on during this year's campaign in the Championship.
"Leeds is a great club with great fans but I need to play and if it is with Leeds then fine, but getting one game a month just isn't enough and is not helping me in my development as a soccer player," Grella recently told YA. "I'm not going to sit around this year. That's unacceptable by my standards if I'm going to get better."
The former Duke University standout also indicates that should he go out on loan, his preference would be to stay within England's second level of professional soccer or perhaps even play for a competitive League One club.
"Ideally I'd like for it to be another Championship team, but if it is a League One club, it has to be one that has serious aspirations at going up and would give me minutes," he elaborated.
The lack of playing time the past season and a half also carried over into this summer's preseason for Grella who had high hopes coming into his second full season in Europe but has mostly served as an onlooker while the team is ramping up.
"As a team we had an excellent preseason and came in flying," he discussed. "We went to Slovakia and then Norway and got some results, but I haven't really played which has been disappointing."
Like many young American players who transition to playing overseas, Grella has had to adjust to a certain coaching style which differs than that of coaches in the US.
While coaches stateside might be agreeable to offering their players more feedback and interaction, coaches in the UK typically eschew that method by allowing their players to figure things out on their own.
It is an aspect of European soccer that is applicable in Grella's case which he understands and accepts.
"I really don't get any kind of feedback from Simon," Grella said of the former Leicester City and Blackpool player. "I didn't play much in preseason so there's really not much to talk about there. It's something where you more or less have to figure it out for yourself which is fine with me. I certainly have no complaints about that. It's just the way it is."
Although he laments not being able to play more of an integral role, last season's run towards promotion to the Championship from League One is something that Grella will always remember especially the way the team performed in so many tense situations.
"It was stressful and high-pressure," concluded Grella. "The Leeds fan base is very demanding so there was a lot of pressure going down in those last games. It was great to be a part of it and of course I really wanted to see the club go up especially for the fans, but at the same time it was bittersweet since I didn't play that much.
Grella will hope to make the gameday roster when Leeds hosts Derby County on Saturday before returning to action on Tuesday for a Carling Cup match versus Lincoln City.