Joel Byrom column: ‘Stevenage’s young stars don’t look out of place’

PUBLISHED: 10:09 25 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:09 25 July 2019

Joel Byrom of Stevenage. Picture: DANNY LOO

Joel Byrom of Stevenage. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

In his CometSport column this week, Stevenage midfielder Joel Byrom talks pre-season and gives his advice to Boro’s young stars.

Another week has been and gone in this pre-season as we prepare ourselves for Salford City on the opening day of the season. We have had a tough week physically and mentally, including a team building session at a boxing gym sandwiched in between two games against quality League One opposition.

Tuesday night saw us take on Peterborough United for our first home game and it was a really positive performance on the night. The opening 45 minutes saw us dominate a talented outfit with some vibrant attacking football. A 1-1 draw was a fair result in the end but a lot of positives came out of the game.

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It is good to see Dean Parrett back in a Stevenage shirt after a few years away. It is a statement of intent by the club bringing a fans favourite back to the club and he provided some entertaining moments.

The day after we all met at a local boxing gym for a day of team building. An assault course competition was set up with four teams taking on the challenge. The team I captained came out on top with a stunning time of ten minutes. It was three minutes faster than the second placed team. The youth of Arthur Iontton, Jack Smith and Jamie Fielding dragged myself and Mark Sampson through for victory.

Then Portsmouth came to The Lamex Stadium to end a tough week. It was a performance which just lacked our usual edge and in the end we went down 1-0, but yet again there was encouraging signs. The second-half saw a lot of youngsters enter the field from our fantastic academy and they did not look out of place.

As a more experienced player now I take great enjoyment in seeing youngsters come into the first-team fold and look unfazed. One thing I would tell a young player in that situation is to make sure you get noticed somehow. Make the manager leave the game or the training session with you on his mind. That is one regret I have from being a young player. I let the opportunity pass me by too easily.

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