Stevenage meeting the opposition.
Tranmere Rovers come into this weekend, for the first time in a while, on the back of a midweek win at Prenton Park. They’re currently positioned tenth in the table and will look to add to their league standings when they face Stevenage this Saturday.
Ahead of the game I spoke to ‘Boro’ supporter Matt Farley who went into depth about a range of subjects relating to the club who are now managed by an interim coach, his experiences with the club, his thoughts on the hosts and much more!
How long have you been a Stevenage supporter and how did you first come across the club?
I have been supporting Boro for just shy of 20 years. It first started when my dad wanted me to watch a better standard of football when I was a kid, so we started going to Stevenage. Ever since that point myself and my dad have become die hard supporters travelling home and away every single week of every season.
Some of the greatest and worst footballing experiences throughout this time?
Wow, what a question. We’ve had so many for both. I’ll start with the great times first. Obviously all of us Boro fans would have to say the years where we were promoted to the EFL. A lifelong goal at the club finally achieved after years of heartache, that day at Kidderminster will never be forgotten. Also a year later getting promoted at Old Trafford to League One was incredible! I’d also throw in all the magical FA Cup ties we’ve had at the club and over the past 6 years we have celebrated some great wins. However, I’d say our darkest memory was 2 years ago thinking we’d been relegated from the EFL, what a tough season that was. But, we were kept up, so all in all a positive to finish with!
Random fact about the club/ the area?
There are so many interesting facts about the club that date back into time, the old school Boro fans will remember the times of a trench being built on the pitch when the club was previously known as something else. However, I like the fact that we were the first ever club to lift a trophy at the new Wembley stadium!
How would you describe Stevenage’s campaign so far, how does this start compare to last season’s and what are your hopes and expectations for the months ahead?
This season has been one hell of a rollercoaster. We came into this season on the back of some excellent football last season, finishing just shy off the play offs. We recruited what seems like a promotion team in the summer and unfortunately it hasn’t gone our way. Although we sit 12th in the home form table, our away form has been dreadful as we sit in the bottom four. A culmination of poor football, results and sitting 21st meant we parted ways with Alex Revell and Dean Wilkins. A tough call because both are really top men, but it was the right decision. Since then we’ve started to win games and we’re currently unbeaten in 3 competitive matches earning our first point away on Tuesday in 2 months. With a new manager coming in, things are starting to look greener.
Taking a look at Saturday’s game, who would you say are the key players for either side and how do you believe the fixture will be approached by the visiting interim manager following the dismissal of Alex Revell?
For us it’s Elliot List 100%! Our top goal scorer and really without him we’d be in big trouble. Listy has got the ability to score at any moment in the game because of his pace and normally finds himself clean through in pretty much every game we play. For your side I’d say players like Spearing stick out because of their experience and I can see you’ve got the best defence in the league, so I’m sure you’ll be tough to score against! Robbie has done brilliantly since taking over, he’s steadied the ship and I think he will play pretty much the same team as he has done previously.
Revell spent just over a year and a half in the dugout, how would you describe his time at the club in this role and do you believe it was time to part ways?
Revs is a top man. I had the pleasure of speaking to Revs privately on many occasions and he is one of the nicest guys in football. He cared and loved the club, but possibly that lack of experience took its toll in the end. Unfortunately he did have to go. However, I will say this about Revs, he did brilliantly in his time. He turned the ship last season when not many managers would’ve turned the ship and he has put together a fantastic group this season. He will go on to succeed in football and I’m so routing for him that he does. Lovely bloke.
Thinking of the club’s ownership decisions, who are Stevenage’s owners and what are the general feeling of them from fans? Are there any current exciting off pitch plans?
Phil Wallace our chairman controls the on going’s at the football club currently. There has been talk recently of a takeover from an American Consortium. Which I think would be a really positive move for the club to bridge the gap to possibly growing. The club does ever so well with things off the pitch. Sponsorship, Community work, Caring for the vulnerable and Elderly. I’m so proud of the club and how hard we work to make a difference.
Finishing our conversation off, your score prediction for the weekend’s game at Prenton Park?
Anyone that knows me knows I’m the most POSITIVE Boro fan there is haha!! I’m going for a 1-0 win and our first away win in the league since August! BUT, I’d bite your hand off for a point.
Thank you for your time!