Stevenage kick off their highly anticipated Sky Bet League One campaign on Saturday against fellow newcomers Northampton Town…
Boro have enjoyed a productive pre-season, which included victories against Championship side Ipswich Town and a Tottenham Hotspur XI, as they now look ahead to their first clash of the 2023/24 Sky Bet League One campaign.
Steve Evans has made some strong additions to his squad this summer, many of which have plenty of League One and Championship experience.
The two latest players to link up with the squad are centre-back Finley Burns and target man forward Aaron Pressley. The latter signed on a permanent deal from Brentford after two spells on loan in Sky Bet League One. Twenty-year-old Burns arrives on loan from European Champions Manchester City and has had Championship experience, spending some time on loan at Swansea City. Both could feature for the first time in a Stevenage shirt this weekend.
Northampton Town finished third in Sky Bet League Two last campaign, just two points behind Boro, and were subsequently promoted to the third tier for the second time in four seasons. The Cobblers have retained a large portion of last season’s squad, with a couple of new additions in centre-back Manny Monthe, left-back Patrick Brough and striker Tyreece Simpson being brought in.
Kieron Bowie and Marc Leonard have re-joined the club for a second loan spell, with both having played over forty games each for the Cobblers last campaign. Northampton’s dangerman Sam Hoskins is likely to feature in the starting eleven this weekend and will undoubtedly look to cause havoc for Stevenage’s left-sided defenders. The threatening forward scored an outstanding twenty-two goals last season, grabbing seven assists.
Northampton have a spectacular record against Stevenage, winning thirteen of the previous seventeen contests. They have fallen to defeat just once in the past, when Graham Westley’s men picked up a 2-1 victory at The Lamex Stadium in 2015. Boro will be looking for their first ever win at Sixfields this weekend.
The Cobblers’ boss Jon Brady is a familiar face to the Stevenage faithful, having worn the Boro shirt on sixty-four occasions in the mid-2000s, scoring five goals from midfield. The Australian spent six years in charge of non-league Brackley Town before becoming an academy coach for Northampton. In February 2021, he was placed in temporary charge of the first team, and despite being relegated from Sky Bet League One, he was offered the permanent job.
Two consecutive top four finishes in the fourth tier culminated in automatic promotion back to League One. Brady now looks forward to his first full managerial season in the third tier of English Football.
Northampton Town play their home games at Sixfields Stadium, which has a capacity of 7,798. Boro supporters have been allocated the South Stand behind the goal which holds a capacity of 972. If travelling by car, leave the M1 and Junction 15A and take the A43 towards Northampton. Continue straight on and the stadium will appear on the right.
Lewis Smith has been appointed Match Referee for Saturday’s fixture, with Richard Morris and Samuel Fudge as Assistants, and Darren Drysdale as Fourth Official. Smith dished out 107 yellow cards and just one red in thirty-four fixtures last campaign.
Watch Stevenage in Sky Bet League One this season. Get your 2023/24 Season Ticket today at www.borotickets.co.uk.