Stevenage had a bright start to the season with a 1-0 home win against Barrow in an ill-tempered match that saw 10 yellow cards. They followed this with a 2-1 away win at Bristol Rovers. Since then they have had away losses at Bradford (4-1),Walsall (1-0), Sutton (2-1) last time out, and 1-1 home draws against Port Vale and Swindon.
Leading the attack in their first few matches has been their number 9, striker Luke Norris, who has a couple of goals to his name so far. Standing out for a different reason is defender Terence Vancooten who wears number 15 and who has managed 3 yellow cards and 1 red in his first 7 games. Vancooten is now in his 5th season at Stevenage but, since his red card at Sutton, will be suspended for the match against Rovers. Stevenage’s Player of the Season last season was their number 7 winger Elliott List, who has also been on the mark with 2 goals so far this season.
Defender Terence Vancooten has seen a lot of yellow and a bit of red this season.
Forward Luke Norris is one of Stevenage’s attacking threats.
Stevenage Athletic were formed in 1968. They were reincarnated (after bankruptcy) as Stevenage Borough in 1976. When they came into the Football League for the first time in 2010, the ‘Borough’ was dropped and they are now Stevenage F.C.
Stevenage became the first ‘New Town’ in the UK in 1946. It’s in Hertfordshire, about 30 miles north of London. It grew up as a staging post on the Great North Road (the A.1) which runs from Smithfield Market, London to Edinburgh.
Stevenage itself isn’t much of a tourist hot-spot (unless you like roundabouts – the town has more than its fair share) but you may have seen Robbie Williams, The Rolling Stones, Oasis, Manic Street Preachers, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd or the Chemical Brothers at nearby Knebworth House.
The football club were promoted from the National League (the Conference as it was) in 1996 but were denied promotion to the EFL because of inadequate ground facilities. It would take another 14 years before Stevenage came into the EFL for the first time in 2010 . Their first EFL season was very successful and they won promotion to League 1 (beating Torquay Utd in the play-offs). Their first season in League 1 in 2011/12 was also successful, seeing the club beaten by Sheffield Utd in the play-off semi-final. Since then the club were relegated back to League 2 in 2014. In 2020, Stevenage were relegated from League 2, only to be reprieved when Macclesfield had points deducted to be relegated in their place.
Stevenage have had one or two famous managers. Teddy Sheringham was in charge for 9 months in 2015/16.
England caretaker manager (for one match) Peter Taylor managed the club for 6 months in 2007/08.
But the club’s ‘go-to’ manager between 2002 and 2020 has been Graham Westley. Westley has had four spells managing Stevenage in this time. His final spell of managing Stevenage lasted just a couple of months before he resigned in Feb 2020, to be replaced by current manager Alex Revell.. Revell had been a Stevenage player before his appointment. He may be remembered by FGR fans – in only his third appearance for Stevenage in 2018, Revell received a straight red card for a challenge on Isaiah Osbourne in an eventual 3–1 away loss to Rovers.
Stevenage will be very familiar to one FGR player. Jack Aitchison came on loan to us from Celtic before being sold to Barnsley on a 3 year deal on the 5th October 2020. The day after signing Barnsley sent him on loan to Stevenage where he made 25 appearances, scoring once. At the start of this season Jack was again loaned to us from Barnsley.
Jack Aitchison after scoring against Brentford the other week.
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