INTERVIEW: Tom Pett won a league title last year - and now he wants more
- Credit: Archant
Stevenage winger discusses his arrival at Boro this season, and why non-academy players in non-league football should never give up dreaming
Tom Pett has set his sights on back-to-back league titles after the flying winger joined Stevenage from Wealdstone.
The 22-year-old signed for Boro this summer for his first taste of full-time football, and he has targeted more success after guiding his former club to promotion to the Conference South last season.
The former Potters Bar Town midfielder caught the eye of plenty of scouts last season, including those at Wycombe Wanderers and Luton Town, though Pett says he only ever heard of Stevenage’s interest.
Speaking ahead of the new season, the man who has already impressed Boro’s faithful with his tricky runs and pace says he hopes to get his hands on a first-team place before helping his new club back on the road to success.
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Asked what his targets were for the new season, Pett told the Comet: “If you set yourself targets, once you reach those targets maybe your motivation might go.
“[They are] just to score goals really, score goals and win games. I’ve tasted winning the league at Wealdstone so one target for myself with the team and the gaffer is to win the league.
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“We want to win more trophies, win more leagues. That’ll be the main target.
“[I’ll also] try to make myself, for the first game of the season, get in the first XI so I’ve got to keep scoring goals in pre-season and trying to make the gaffer happy.”
Pett was invited into the Stevenage set-up at the end of last season when he arrived for a trial at the club in order to try to win himself a deal to play in the Football League.
With no academy background of note, the man who scored 18 times for Wealdstone last season has joined fellow players Sam Beasant (Woking), Dean Wells (Braintree Town), Ronnie Henry (Luton Town) and Andy Bond (Chester) in coming from non-league football last season to join Boro’s League 2 adventure.
The youngster believes that stories like his, and Wells, can show others that the dream of a full-time deal at a professional football club should never be given up on.
“Last season I had Scott McGleish and Glen Little telling me every week that I can [make it to the Football League],” Pett says.
“Dean Wells is 29 and is making it pro; it’s never too late to make it.
“I’m 22 and making it pro. I coached some kids the other day and I said to them that I’m an example that you don’t have to be in an academy.
“I think I was in an academy for about two months out of my career so it shows that it can happen.
“You just have to work hard and keep at your game. When you get to 15 or 16 it can go either way.
“You can go to other side or you can carry on with your football. Luckily I chose football and chose to keep working hard.”