Stevenage boss Darren Sarll’s review of 2017

PUBLISHED: 12:13 29 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:13 29 December 2017

Stevenage FC manager Darren Sarll. Picture: Danny Loo

Stevenage FC manager Darren Sarll. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Stevenage FC manager Darren Sarll has been reflecting on 2017 with the New Year just around the corner.

Stevenage FC manager Darren Sarll. Picture: Danny LooStevenage FC manager Darren Sarll. Picture: Danny Loo

The year has seen Boro win 22 games, drawing 11 and losing 19, with a chance to add one more in the win column when they travel to Crawley Town in Sky Bet League Two on Saturday.

Speaking to CometSport, 34-year-old Sarll – who will complete his first full calendar year when the clock strikes midnight on Sunday – spoke of the demands and rewards of management.

“It’s a very challenging job,” he said.

“You have to show real resilience and strength to get through difficult times when the players are looking for leadership, and stay humble and grounded through the good.

Stevenage FC manager Darren Sarll. Picture: Danny LooStevenage FC manager Darren Sarll. Picture: Danny Loo

“It’s a very demanding job and in the words of someone I admire greatly, it’s a 28-hour a day job.

“There’s very little room for sleep, rest or recovery as you are on the go a lot of the time but nothing will ever beat that feeling at five o’clock, when the final whistle blows and you get the salvation of winning a football match.

“It’s a wonderful feeling and enough for me for a lifetime.

“I’ve had some unbelievable moments at the final whistle with our supporters and those memories will stay with me for the remainder of my career, however long or short.”

Stevenage FC manager Darren Sarll. Picture: Danny LooStevenage FC manager Darren Sarll. Picture: Danny Loo

Sarll and his Stevenage side have put in some memorable performances in 2017.

Boro went on an impressive run in the second half of last season and came agonisingly close to making the League Two play-offs, falling just three points short on the final day of the season.

When asked to pick his favourite moment of the year, Sarll highlighted a number of the games in their impressive mid-season run.

The Boro boss said: “I really enjoyed the 2-1 win away at Crawley when Matt Godden scored in the last minute. It was a key moment last season that we’ve spoken about recently.

Stevenage FC manager Darren Sarll. Picture: Danny LooStevenage FC manager Darren Sarll. Picture: Danny Loo

“We had some really great home games against Wycombe and Portsmouth which were both fantastic performances in that spell we had last season.”

One reoccurring theme throughout 2017 has been the loud support of the Stevenage fans – both home and away – and this hasn’t gone unnoticed by Sarll.

Boro’s trip to Barnet back in late August is one game that sticks out in his mind.

Tom Pett had given the away side lead with 27 minutes on the clock but Dale Gorman’s red card with 35 minutes played meant defending a one-goal lead for over an hour.

In a back’s to the wall performance Stevenage held on for all three points as the large travelling contingent played the role of 12th man, roaring on Sarll’s side throughout the local derby.

The 34-year-old described the game as one he will always remember, praising the Boro faithful for their support despite the ‘bumpy ride’ the clubs fans endure at times.

“I will always remember that away game at Barnet when we held on for 65 minutes with 10-men after Dale’s red card.

“It was a nice moment at the end of the game celebrating with the supporters and there was a real sense of togetherness and belonging.

“The supporters are fantastic and I absolutely love them.

“Hopefully they can recognise that I show I’ve been on the terrace, I’ve stood where they stood and I’ve sat where they’ve sat.

“I know what it is to be a Stevenage supporter, it’s a bumpy ride.

“I can’t remember a season where it hasn’t been a bit of a rollercoaster but we always seem to come out on top because we are such an honest club.

“We work very hard and we always find that little bit of luck, ability, talent, timing because of the work ethic.”

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