Local boy Ball pleased with full Boro debut

Matt Ball. Photo: Harry Hubbard

Matt Ball. Photo: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

Midfielder Matt Ball, from Welwyn, delighted with first Stevenage start and wants to help Boro improve next season

MATT Ball says it was ‘great’ to play alongside Gavin Mahon on Saturday, a player he used to watch from the stands at Watford.

Ball played alongside the 36-year-old in the 2-0 defeat to MK Dons in what was the young midfielder’s full debut for the club following a substitute appearance at Swindon Town the previous week.

Speaking after the match, Ball said he was pleased to play alongside Mahon and added that he was delighted to make a start for Boro, a club he had watched as a teenager at Wembley when Stevenage beat Kidderminster Harriers in the 2007 FA Trophy final.

“I’m very pleased [to start for the first time], especially being a local boy from Welwyn coming to Stevenage and watching them in the FA Trophy final against Kidderminster when they came back to win 3-2.

“Obviously now I’m playing so hopefully we can have more success.

“I remember having a season ticket at Watford when Mahon was captain, so it’s a bit of a difference now playing alongside him.

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“It’s great to play with him; he’s so experienced and he’s always talking and it makes it easy for you.”

Ball signed for Stevenage last summer from Norwich City but had to wait until the last two games of the season to get any League 1 playing time, though he did have a spell on loan at Farnborough.

Looking ahead to next season, the midfielder says the plan is to get more game time and help the club to push on towards promotion.

“Before Christmas it was quite frustrating, not getting any games, but then I went on loan to Farnborough, got a few games and did well and then came back to look to play and finally I’ve been given my chance,” Ball told the Comet.

“I really enjoyed [Farnborough] because I was playing football.

“If you’re playing football then you enjoy it, that’s what you want to do so hopefully next season I can push on, train hard over the summer, come back and hopefully be fighting for a first team spot regularly.

“You want to build on what you’ve done already and hopefully after the last two performances I can push on and like I said, work hard in the summer so I’m ready to work hard when I come back for pre-season.”