Stimmo back at his old hunting ground

MARK Stimson goes back to the club where he forged his managerial reputation this weekend – and he can t wait. Stimson takes his blossoming Stevenage Boro side to Grays Athletic this Saturday. Along with his assistant Scott Barrett, they enjoyed a fruitfu

MARK Stimson goes back to the club where he forged his managerial reputation this weekend - and he can't wait.

Stimson takes his blossoming Stevenage Boro side to Grays Athletic this Saturday.

Along with his assistant Scott Barrett, they enjoyed a fruitful spell at the Essex club where they gained promotion to the Conference and won the FA Trophy in successive years.

The pair switched to Broadhall Way in the summer and after a sticky start, their new-look Boro side have impressed while his former charges have struggled.

Stimson said: "It's a nice game for me because I'm going back to somewhere I enjoyed working at and was successful.

"Their changes of management have not helped them this season and they've also lost some very, very good players.

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"But they still have some dangerous players like Dennis Oli and it won't be easy for us."

Former Grays men John Nutter, Mitchell Cole and Jamie Slabber are all in contention to face their former side this weekend. Another ex-Grays player, Adam Miller, will miss out as he is starting a two-match suspension.

Miller scored the only goal in the earlier meeting of the two sides at Broadhall Way back in November.

Boro moved up to eighth in the Nationwide Conference following Saturday's 2-1 home win over Burton Albion.

Stimson said: "I feel the Burton game will be like our other home games to come this season.

"Teams will sit back and stick eight men behind the ball and try to defend."

And he continued: "I feel we're building something very exciting here at Stevenage.

"For example, I won't lose any sleep if the five players who were not involved in last Saturday's squad are needed this weekend.

"Someone like Barry Fuller has raised his game since Damian Batt arrived and the competition for places is healthy."

Fuller and Boro's top scorer Steve Morison played for the England National Game XI on Tuesday night.

Morison, one of the top scorers in the Conference, missed a penalty as hosts Northern Ireland won 3-1.

Boro captain Ronnie Henry came on as a second-half substitute.

"We were the only club which had three players in the squad and, touch wood, none have picked up injuries," added Stimson.

After the Grays trip, Boro are on their travels again on Tuesday night with a visit to Stafford Rangers in a rearranged Conference fixture.

Then, 24 hours later, the reserves are at home to their Luton counterparts at Broadhall Way (7pm ko).

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