Stevenage striker Revell ‘loves playing football’
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
Football is a highly-pressurised environment, but time spent in the refreshing company of Stevenage striker Alex Revell convinces you it’s also the best game of the world.
Revell, as tough and surprisingly deft on the pitch as he is excellent company off it, has had a long and varied career in the professional game
The Cambridge-born forward has appeared for a number of clubs including his hometown team, Brighton and Cardiff in a long list that reads like a road map of England.
Revell, now turned 35, has had his fair share of highlights, including netting a brace at Wembley for Rotherham who beat Orient in a dramatic play-off final at the national stadium.
He has also endured lows after falling down the pecking order at Swindon, although losing your place to a prolific Charlie Austin at the County Ground is nothing to be ashamed about.
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However, what shines through from a chat with the engaging Revell is his genuine passion.
Speaking to the Comet, Revell – who looks 10 years younger than his age – said: “You’re retired a long time. I love playing football.
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“We run around playing the game we all love. We’re playing the game everyone wants to play. Why shouldn’t we work hard? If you don’t enjoy what you do then you shouldn’t be in football. It’s the best job in the world.
“I feel very lucky to still be playing. When I was younger I used to worry about things more. Would I play? What if someone new comes in?
“If you worry about things the game just passes you by. If you’re ready mentally you’re ready to give your all.
“You have to enjoy football. If you don’t enjoy it then there’s absolutely no point in being out there. Of course there are good times and bad times but you have to enjoy it.”
Revell has been grafting as hard as anyone at Bragbury End, in the squad’s specialist high-altitude training camp in Slovenia, and during pre-season matches.
The Comet paid a visit to the club’s training HQ last month to study Boro boss Dino Maamria and his backroom staff working his players hard. How has Revell’s summer been?
“It’s been good,” he replied. “It’s been enjoyable but it’s been hard graft. We’re fit and strong and we’re powerful. Anyone who comes into the team knows their roles.
“That’s probably the biggest thing, our fitness and all the benefits that come with that – but it’s also about learning your role in the team and your position, and the boss has been working us hard getting everyone to buy into that.
“We’ve seen that already in pre-season. Everybody knows what they’re doing. It’s been tough, but we’re in a good place.
“I’m a hard worker and the manager likes that. But I also hope that I can help younger players. I want to play first and foremost. If you feel fit and strong as I do then you can play games.”
Revell has impressed many this summer and is part of Maamria’s plans after an excellent end to last season, including grabbing a treble against Exeter City.
Boro are aiming for a dramatic improvement on a disappointing 16th-placed finish in League Two last term, and Revell is set to play a big part, adding: “I played the full 90 minutes in our friendly against Coventry on a hot afternoon so age doesn’t come into it.
“It’s going to be a long season and we are going to need every single player during our campaign because of the way we play. We’re strong and we do press which will mean we use our whole squad.
“The chairman and the manager and everyone behind the scenes have worked hard to bring in a number of players to boost the squad and we’ve all gelled. Every single one of us has worked hard. It’s been one of the toughest pre-seasons we’ve had.
“The gaffer has laid down what he wants and that’s been transferred to the pitch this summer. I know by the time Friday comes around I can say I’ve done my best and given my all through the week.”
As our interview draws to a close, Revell’s sheer love of football and his positive attitude shines through.
“The one thing I do know is that I don’t want to look back on my time with any regrets,” he explains.
“That’s what I tell the youngsters here. You can never look back with regrets, you just have to enjoy it.
“Enjoy the hard work because fans work a 12-hour shift then go to the gym after.
“We’re professional footballers. It’s our job. Why shouldn’t we enjoy it. We’re lucky to do what we do and I never forget that.”