Stevenage’s team of the decade
PUBLISHED: 17:00 31 December 2019
With two promotions, one relegation, a new stand and badge, it’s been quite the decade for Stevenage. From Mark Roberts to Matt Godden, who has made Dan Mountney’s Stevenage team of the decade?
Goalkeeper - Chris Day
Nearly ever-present throughout the decade, Day has been Stevenage's best goalkeeper by far. He played a key role in the back-to-back promotions from the Conference to League One, often being called 'Sir Chris Day' by Boro fans. He had a superb 2014/15 campaign as the club reached the League Two play-offs and despite limited appearances in his final seasons, he was always going to be in this team.
Right-back - Ronnie Henry
Another key member of the promotion-winning sides and the 14/15 play-off team, Henry is a Stevenage legend. A superb defender whose consistency made him a reliable figure for a number of managers across two spells at the Lamex, he went on to captain the club and become Stevenage's all-time record appearance holder in 2018. Not even a spell at rivals Luton Town could tarnish his reputation.
Centre-back - Mark Roberts
Captain, leader, legend would be an apt way to describe Roberts. The skipper of the promotion-winning sides and a rock-solid defender, he was part of the infamous back four that Graham Westley built his success on in the early part of the decade. When Roberts left for Fleetwood in 2013, things were never really the same at Boro.
Centre-back - Jon Ashton
Ashton had to be the man to partner Roberts in this team. The duo were formidable as Boro went from the Conference to League One, with Ashton's power and defensive prowess making him a favourite at the Lamex. He captained the club after Roberts' exit and led them to the 14/15 League Two play-offs.
Left-back - Scott Laird
Laird had to be in the team to complete the back four who were key in the back-to-back promotions in the early part of the decade. An all-round full-back who could defend and attack, he was also a real character with ex-teammates having plenty of stories to tell about him.
Right midfield - Tom Pett
Now into midfield and this was a tough position to fill with plenty of names in the frame, but I've gone for Pett. Quick, tricky and with an eye for goal, he was a key part of the side that reached the 14/15 League Two play-offs with Boro fans often singing "Pett will tear you apart" to the tune of Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart. I watched him plenty of times during his Stevenage career and he had to be in my team.
Central midfield - Michael Bostwick
Bostwick was a key cog in the engine room of the promotion-winning sides and scored some important goals for Boro, including the opener in their first-ever Football League win and in the famous FA Cup win over Newcastle. Hard-working and with bags of ability, he will always be fondly remembered by fans.
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Central midfield - John Mousinho
Bostwick's partner in crime is the man who scored arguably the most important goal in the club's history. Mousinho got the winner in the play-off final at Old Trafford to get Boro into League Two and he was a fan favourite across two spells at the Lamex. Much like Bostwick, he worked hard and had the talent to back it up.
Left midfield - Luke Freeman
Freeman's talents have taken him all the way to the Premier League with Sheffield United, and it was clear just how good he was at Stevenage. Quick, direct and dangerous, he often ran rings around opposition full-backs and had an eye for a special goal. He's by far one of the most talented players to represent Boro.
Attacking midfield - Ilias Chair
It seems bizarre to put a player with just 15 Stevenage appearances into this team, but I couldn't leave Chair out. Joining on loan from QPR for the second half of the 2018/19 season, he dragged Boro to the brink of the play-offs with a number of match-winning performances and sublime goals. The mercurial attacker was described by manager Dino Maamria as the best to wear the Stevenage shirt and in terms of ability, he certainly wasn't wrong, with Chair now a regular for the Hoops in the Championship.
Striker - Matt Godden
Without a shadow of a doubt, the best goalscorer Stevenage have had this decade. Joining from non-league Ebbsfleet in 2016, he smashed 21 goals in all competitions in his first season before grabbing 14 the next. A superb finisher and fantastic movement, he had to lead the line in this team.
Darius Charles - A fan favourite who was key to successful Stevenage sides, he could have made the team in three different positions but just narrowly missed out.
Charlie Lee - A mercurial talent who always seemed to have a smile on his face, Lee was a joy to watch, but was just pipped to the attacking midfield position.
Joel Byrom - It feels so harsh to leave Byrom out of this team, but the importance of Bostwick and Mousinho's goals sees them squeeze in. A wonderful passer with the ability to dictate a game, Byrom is a Stevenage legend.
Dean Wells and Scott Cuthbert - Two no-nonsense, rock-solid leaders, if it hadn't been for Roberts and Ashton they would have walked into this team and are unlucky to miss out.
Paul Farman - A superb shot-stopper and a real character, Farman is loved by all at Boro but much like Wells and Cuthbert it was always going to be difficult to get a starting XI place.
Chris Whelpdale - An old school winger capable of brilliant things, he enjoyed an impressive first spell at the club and he might have made it into this team had it not been for an injury-hit second stint at the Lamex.
Lawrie Wilson - Another key member of the promotion-winning side, his ability to play full-back and on the wing was key for Graham Westley. Wilson went on to play at a much higher level too.