Mark Roberts’ Captain’s Column

We’re 90 minutes from League 1 football

AFTER a fantastic semi-final win over Accrington Stanley we have booked our place in the play-off final.

Our destination is Old Trafford where we are just 90 minutes from League 1 football.

We are all focused on the job in hand but are full of confidence and cannot wait for Saturday to come.

We completed a tremendous job up at Accrington on Friday night and it was important for us that we went there and won the game.

The performance in the home leg demonstrated what we are all about and we executed our game plan superbly.

We fought for every ball like our lives depended on it and were unlucky not to win by a greater margin.

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The atmosphere at the Lamex Stadium was rocking and it was great to see the people of the town out in full force to support us.

I know a lot was made about our post match celebrations but we were simply carrying out the warm down we do after every home game.

We would never disrespect our opposition and we were well aware that there was plenty of hard work to carry out in the second leg.

Our preparations for the away leg were first class and the manner in which we dominated the hostile environment we entered showed the growing maturity of our squad.

It was great that we were able to take every member of the squad up there with us.

We are all well aware that you achieve nothing unless you are as one together.

That is why it was so important that everyone was able to enjoy winning our place in the final on the pitch after the game.

So now we go onwards to Old Trafford to take on Torquay United who stand in the way of a place in League 1 next season.

They themselves had an excellent win over Shrewsbury Town in their semi-final and they will bring a challenge and desire that will need to be conquered.

We have taken only one point from them this season but that does not faze us.

We faced the same scenario against Accrington and look what we did to them.

As a Manchester United fan who sat in the Stretford End as a boy it will be one of the proudest moments of my life leading the team out on to the hallowed Old Trafford turf.

On a personal level it will be even bigger than captaining the team at Wembley but the day will only be one I wish to remember if we win the game.

The final will see the climax to an unforgettable first season for Stevenage in the Football League.

There have been ups and downs and an FA Cup run that everyone connected with the town will remember forever.

It is well documented that, as a squad, we work hard but that doesn’t really tell the full story.

I have never been part of a squad like this one that everyday pushes itself to the very limit to achieve success.

Back in July this squad began our journey together with the dream of promotion to League 1.

It is apt, then, that on Saturday at The Theatre of Dreams we can make that happen.

Until next time...


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