Getting numbers through the gates is key to progress

Boro media man discusses the club’s aims on and off the field this season

By Mitchell Jones

Since Old Trafford some 82 days ago Stevenage FC has had to move into npower League 1 both on and off the pitch.

It was a fantastic achievement for Graham Westley and his team, especially to come from the bottom half of the league last January to finish as play-off winners in May.

As soon as the final whistle went in the last game at The Lamex Stadium, against Accrington Stanley on May 15, the work began for the new season.

First was the acquisition of the Bragbury End training complex, which has since undergone a lot of work as club chairman Phil Wallace looks to open it within the year, and then came a new irrigation and sprinkler system.

The improvements to the playing side followed with some high level players joining the ranks; Robin Shroot will provide us with some more creativity whilst Jennison Myrie-Williams brings a wealth of pace and experience, and in Alan Julian we saw a familiar face return whilst Phil Edwards has settled in magnificently and has performed well from the off.

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Elsewhere Guy Madjo’s signing hit a few snags but he has a real striker’s instinct and when he shakes off the rust that comes from not playing for six months I think he will be a real menace to League 1 defenders.

Whilst Graham perfected his side on the pitch, we all looked around the ground to see what could be done off of it. New canvases portraying the recent successes of the side have been placed around the ground, the Broadhall Suite was given a facelift with new carpet and chairs, along with a host of new lagers and ales which are being installed for our game with Hartlepool this Saturday. The exterior of the ground was also improved and there are more plans in place even with the season underway.

Nobody at the club has hidden from the fact that it is imperative that our home crowds increase but aside from just numbers we want more people behind our team. We’ve had some nights at the Lamex Stadium recently that have been mind blowing, and make no mistake the players do pick up on this. People need to bring their friends and family through the gate and pass on the word of Boro. For so many of our fans attending Boro is a habit, and this needs to be spread around the town as we look to achieve even more as a club.

This season started with some frustration but it has not been short of entertainment. We began with Exeter City at home and it was a tight game; both sides had spells of dominance and could have put a case together for taking all three points, and on the day I think we edged it but didn’t have enough to get the winner. Peterborough then came to town as attentions turned to the Carling Cup, and this was another tight game but one that finished 4-3 after extra time.

Then came the trip to Chesterfield where a 97th minute equaliser stopped us gaining all three points but this was all forgotten after a magnificent 3-1 win at last year’s play-off semi-finalists Bournemouth on Tuesday - a win we hope will spur the team on for further success in the coming weeks.

Mitchell Jones is one of four columnists writing for The Comet.