At the press conference at Roots Hall following Stevenage’s elimination from the League 2 play- offs, manager Graham Westley revealed that the club had not offered him a new contract and that all he could confirm was that he would be Boro’s manager until 31st May 2015 when his current contract expired.
The following days did little to dispel the cold facts that Boro had decided to change direction and the GW didn’t feature in the future plans of the club. On Thursday 21st May 2015 Stevenage unveiled their new manager – Teddy Sheringham thereby confirming GW’s fate.
As the dust settled on a turbulent week in the clubs history, Graham penned some words in his inevitable style to the club supporters and these were posted to the popular Borochat on behalf of Graham by Dean Thompson.
Graham summarises his time at Boro and the many highs we as a club have shared together. His words are replicated below;
“I have managed Stevenage for 9 out of the last 12 years and at some stage in 11 out of the last 13 seasons; nearly 500 games and nearly a 50% win rate I am reliably informed. Certainly, we did a lot more winning than anything else. That time period has created a long standing bond between me and the Stevenage FC fanbase.
In the main, those wins have created successful years. We achieved some great things together. 4 Play Off Campaigns (not including 2012 when I left the club in a top 6 position), 2 Promotions, 2 Wembley Finals, an FA Trophy win and some brilliant FA Cup journeys; beating Newcastle and winning at Reading were truly memorable performances. Twice we fought back and escaped impending relegations from difficult looking positions when I arrived.
And let’s not forget the many many players that we have collectively developed and sold onto higher levels for very good fees. We really have worked well together.
This year, I worked with a great staff, and we eventually turned things back around and the 6th placed finish was a genuinely incredible bounce back. In League 2, we are hardly the biggest Club and we suffered some nightmare injuries particularly up front. But the squad finished much stronger than it started, showing great learning, storming into the Play Offs with 8W, 7D, 1L, and I am convinced that 3 or 4 changes this summer would have seen us become a Burton or a Southend next season; promoted after losing in the Play Offs. My strong belief is that we would have become Champions next season and I was looking forward to delivering that title.
I am sure that the team will go from strength to strength. It is genuinely difficult to see the lads failing to do that and I wish them my very best; they are a good bunch.
It would be wrong to depart and not deliver a personal message to a fanbase that has given me so much over these years and this note is exactly that.
I just want to say thank you; Thank you for trusting in me; Thank you for standing alongside me; Thank you for believing in me as I have sought to make Stevenage a credible and dependable Football League proposition. And Thank you for berating me whenever I needed it! It’s been a really fun time on the whole.
Stevenage cannot attract the ‘best’ players in the Football League. It has to develop those players. Stevenage has to have a way that doesn’t rely on the ‘best’ players. Stevenage needs to accept that it will always have a certain amount of lads finding their way in the game and therefore the Stevenage winning way needs to deal with that. Stevenage fans embraced my method of addressing the deficits and were clever enough in their reading of me to see how I was trying hard to work smart to give us a chance to win. I’d have loved to have adopted the Man United way but it just wouldn’t have got us results.
The good news is that you can stop bringing everyone back at corners now so I hope you can enjoy that next season!!
Good luck to you all.
Onwards and Upwards.
GW x “
There is nothing to add to this bar to thank Graham for all the good times and his undoubted hard work in Boro’s name and of course to wish him all the best for what the history website is sure will be a successful future for him.