Stevenage boss Maamria: 'I want to make sure people are proud of us'
PUBLISHED: 12:17 01 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:35 01 August 2019
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Having been a player, coach and now manager at the Lamex, Stevenage holds a special place in the heart of Dino Maamria.
And he paid an emotional tribute to the club, its fans and the town ahead of the new League Two season.
Maamria played for the club from 2003 to 2006, making more than 100 appearance before acting as Graham Westley's assistant manager as Boro rose up from the Conference to League One in consecutive seasons.
He then took over as manager in 2018 following the departure of Darren Sarll, guiding them to a 10th-placed finish in League Two last season.
And after so many years at the Lamex, the club, its supporters and Stevenage as a town have become special to Maamria.
"Every ex-footballer has one club they are close to," he told CometSport.
"I live in Stevenage, my family are from Stevenage so it means a lot to me, more than any other club I must say that.
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"I live it every day. If we win a game I see the happiness in the town, if I don't win a game I see the sadness in the town.
"I'm not a manager who lives 50 miles away, I live it every day.
"I see my little boy Leo, he goes to school when we win a game and everyone is happy, but if we lose a game he gets some stick.
"So I want to win games for my family, for the club and for the town because I want to make sure people are proud of us as a football club."
The new North Stand at the Lamex and some eye-catching new kits have excited the Boro fans, with both season ticket and shirt sales significantly up on last season.
Maamria is delighted to see supporters backing the team, saying: "The fans clearly believe in what we are doing and believe in me.
"That drives me to do even better for them.
"It's fantastic for us, it galvanizes us, it means a lot to the players and we can't wait to play on Saturday, win and celebrate with our fans.
"That's what we do it for day in, day out."