N’Gala says Roberts and Ashton influence is priceless

Centre-half insists he is enjoying his time at Boro, and is happy to bide his time for a regular first-team place

STEVENAGE centre-half Bondz N’Gala says he is relishing training alongside fellow defenders Mark Roberts and Jon Ashton.

The West Ham United Academy product joined Boro in the summer from Yeovil for an undisclosed fee, but given the form of Ashton and Roberts during the last few seasons the 23-year-old, who celebrates his birthday today (Thursday), has been restricted to only a couple of appearances so far.

However, the young defender believes he offers something different to the team, and is looking forward to showing the Stevenage supporters what he can do on a more regular basis.

He impressed as a half-time substitute during the win over Coventry City last weekend following a head injury suffered by Ashton, but it looks like he could be back on the bench for the visit of Crewe on Saturday after manager Gary Smith announced Ashton would be fit.

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“I heard about the interest from Stevenage and it was the perfect proposition for me. It was closer to home and they did fantastically well last season so I just wanted to be a part of it,” said N’Gala, recalling how his transfer came about.

“Mark and Jon are very experienced players who have played together for a long time and I can only learn from that being a young central defender.

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“I try and pick their wits and learn from them and do well when I come into the side.

“I think I can bring something different to the team which I think is why the gaffer brought me in. And my aim is just to show the supporters what I can do.

“I enjoyed my 45 minutes at Coventry, it was a great win and the boys did well… I want to be part of a winning team that wins every week.”

N’Gala also spoke about the influence of having former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn on the training ground. The 48-year-old has been helping manager Smith with occasional defensive coaching since pre-season, and N’Gala says it has been great to learn from such a respected figure.

“Nigel was part of one of the best back fours in the country when he was playing so that can only help us and I think it has. Hopefully that will continue to happen and we can have a few clean sheets,” he said.

“It helps to have another voice to come in and speak to us. It’s refreshing to have someone come in with new ideas and it keeps us on our toes.”

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