July was a busy month on and off the pitch as preparations for the new season continued.
On the pitch:
Jon Ashton was named captain following the departure of Mark Roberts to Fleetwood with Westley calling him “the ideal man to lead our team forward.”
The pre-season campaign saw Stevenage welcome QPR XI, Watford, Leeds and a Manchester United XI to The Lamex whilst also travelling to the likes of Biggleswade Town, Hitchin Town and Bedford. Whilst the games against Championship opposition proved stern tests, the wins over Biggleswade and Hitchin saw the goals flow for Boro and Darius Charles, now wearing the number 9 shirt, scored twice against Manchester United to underline his striking credentials.
Off the pitch:
Season ticket holders young and older interacted with players at the Bragbury End Open Day in July. Over 500 attended the event and were treated to guided tours of the new training facility, the chance to watch an open training session and then speak to the players and get autographs.
A selection of young fans also received a shock later in the month when players turned up on their doorsteps to hand-deliver their season tickets! Between them Jon Ashton, Jordan Burrow, Matt Ball, Oumare Tounkara, Lucas Akins, Steve Arnold, Darius Charles, Greg Tansey and Luke Jones visited addresses across the area and presented season tickets to a number of surprised youngsters.
The club’s award-winning community scheme, Stevenage FC in the Community, was also rebranded in the summer to Stevenage FC Foundation. As a Foundation the charity would be able to source additional funding streams which in turn would allow it to have an even greater impact within the local community.
Elsewhere in the industry Sky Bet were announced as the new lead sponsor of the Football League. Stevenage would therefore be competing in Sky Bet League 1 during 2013/14.
Photos of the Month:
Fans interacted with players at the season ticket holder open day at Bragbury End
Oumare Tounkara, Matt Ball and Lucas Akins surprise these youngsters by hand-delivering their season tickets