Dale Gorman targeting Stevenage FC first team place
PUBLISHED: 10:30 17 December 2015 | UPDATED: 10:30 17 December 2015
This time last year must seem like a million miles away for Dale Gorman.
Or, more realistically, just over 4,000 miles away.
For 12 months ago the then 18-year-old was part of the Stevenage Academy team that was competing in the IMG Cup in Florida alongside the likes of Brentford, in a tournament won by Spurs U18s.
Fast forward a year, and although the weather may be slightly colder and wetter as Gorman stands talking to the Comet at the club’s training ground at Bragbury End, there can be little doubt where the now 19-year-old would prefer to be.
Earlier this month he signed a new three-year contract with the club, and now back fit after injury – he played against Cheshunt last week in the Herts Senior Cup – he is aiming to do all that he can to force his way into the first XI and stay there.
“It’s been a great year for me, from making my debut in the Football League to establishing myself as a first-team player, and now signing my new contract,” Gorman says.
“That was a big confidence boost for me, and I’m looking forward to years ahead with Stevenage.”
Gorman added: “I’m fully fit now and I’m feeling really good.
“I’m just trying to put a bit of pressure on the two boys in front of me now [currently Michael Tonge and Lee Cox] to get in the team.
“Every day I come in here, barging through the doors trying to get in front of them but they’re doing well at the minute so I can’t complain.
“That [Cheshunt] game is something that I needed, match fitness. As anyone knows, training every day is nothing compared to playing 90 minutes. That’s key for me.”
Gorman was signed by Boro in the summer of 2013 from Letterkenny Rovers, a club where he made his debut in 2012 at the age of 15 by coming off the bench and replacing his father, Anthony.
His dad still plays for Letterkenny, too, and last week he featured in a match with Dale’s younger brother, Zach, in the Ulster Senior League.
Gorman has joined the likes of Ben Kennedy in bursting through to the Stevenage first team squad in the past year or so.
But although he has made the step up, he still spends time in the company of his former academy team-mates whom, he knows, are also working hard in a bid to secure a professional contract with the club.
“The first day that I came here as a scholar, that was the aim. It had to be. If it’s not then you don’t have any other objective ahead.
“I try as much as I can to watch them. When I was injured I’d come in here and do my training, and then I’d head down to the academy and see how they’re getting on.
“There’s a few players down there I can see potential in and hopefully they will get their chance.”
This week Boro boss Teddy Sheringham said Gorman had the ‘nitty-gritty’ about him, and that he could ‘get about the pitch; he can get close to people’.
And now following his recovery from injury there could be a real chance that the teenager will get even more opportunities to do just that as the club heads into the second half of the season.