Stevenage skipper pleased with youth team set-up

Mark Roberts praises Michael Thalassitis after teenager makes his debut for Boro

BORO skipper Mark Roberts praised Michael Thalassitis after the young striker made his debut for the club in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at MK Dons.

A product of the Boro youth academy which was set up last summer ahead of the club’s first season in the Football League, Thalassitis did enough last year in the under-18 side to earn a first team deal this summer and came on after 63 minutes at stadium:mk ahead of fellow attacking options Ben May, who followed later, and Chris Beardsley, who didn’t.

Speaking about the 18-year-old, Roberts said he had earned the right to a place on the bench after showing hunger and determination in the squad this season while the skipper also believes Thalassitis’ inclusion in Saturday’s squad will show other youth team members that they too could make the grade.

“He’s come from our youth system and it’s early days yet but I’m sure that he’ll get stronger, and he’ll help the first team in future,” Roberts told The Comet.


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“He’s shown a great determination, he puts himself about and he looks hungry.

“Last week in training there was an organised game against the youth team and he scored two goals there and could have scored a couple on his debut (on Saturday).

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“He’s come to us, he’s made a big impression and he’s got a lot of good attributes.”

Thalassitis joined fellow youth team player Tom Collins in earning a deal with the club in the summer, and although Collins has now left for Hayes, Roberts said Thalassitis is leading the way for the club’s young players.

“It’s difficult for them,” Roberts said. “Last year [they were] thrown together the way the system was brought about. This year we changed a coach (Paul Hilton replaced Jimmy Gilligan), they train a lot and have a similar training schedule to ourselves so if they do make the step up then they’re ready to do that.

“Mike is an example of someone who has done well and has taken his opportunity. It shows as a good example that the opportunities are there for people. He [can be a] shining example for them.”

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