WAYNE Riley is confident he can help the Wingmakers land a Welsh Premier League runners-up spot and European football for the third summer running.
The attacking midfielder returned after an 18-month absence last week following his release from Chester FC by mutual consent.
And Riley is raring to go after finding first-team opportunities few and far between during his short stay at the Swansway Chester Stadium.
He was the club’s top scorer in his debut season at the Airfield after joining the influx from Northwich Victoria – and he’s backing himself to fire Airbus into the Europa League once again in his second spell as a Wingmaker.
Riley told The Chronicle: “I’m looking forward to getting back playing football again, it’s been a long time. I scored plenty of goals in my first season so hopefully I can do that again and help get the lads up the table into second place again.”
Riley would have been in contention to face Rhyl on Tuesday evening but the fixture – rearranged from Sunday – was postponed for a second time due to a frozen pitch at the Corbett Sports Stadium.
Airbus are currently fourth in the table, four points behind Bala Town and five behind Aberystwyth.
Riley said: “It’s a lot tougher this season with Aberystwyth and Bala doing well, but second’s our main aim and I think we’ll do it. We’re confident. We’ve still got to play both of them again twice, and they’ll be massive games, but I’m looking forward to them. We’re still in the cup too, so that’s another chance to get in Europe.”
The 25-year-old, who has signed an 18-month deal, said he was keen to link up with his former Vics boss Preece again as soon as Steve Burr told him he didn’t feature in his plans at Chester.
After a successful season at Conference North club Hednesford Town, Riley made only six substitute appearances in the league for the Blues.
He said: “I wasn’t playing, and I wasn’t happy because everyone just wants to play football. I spoke to the gaffer and said he’d be delighted to have me back, so it was any easy choice.
“I know all the lads and I’m looking forward to being part of it again. I wouldn’t have signed for any other club in the league.
“I’m feeling sharp because I’ve been training full-time at Chester, it’s just match fitness I need to get back. That won’t take long, and hopefully I’ll be back scoring a few goals soon.”