In a move that comes as a greater surprise than the continued demand for five-day-a-week Emmerdale, it appears our old pal Bira Dembele has now settled on his next career move. League One had been the likely destination for our one-time defensive goliath; his impressive displays in the back end of last season believed to have raised some serious interest in his services.
But trading the leafy surrounds of Stevenage Football Club for county underlings and Jubilee Line sideshow Barnet wasn’t the most obvious choice. It feels like a backward step for everyone except the Bees; for them it’s a pretty impressive coup and your first sign that perhaps they don’t want to mark their return to the League with a last-day relegation battle royale… again.
Maybe we’re wrong, though. Maybe our new gaffer has grander plans for the centre of the Boro’ defence. Maybe the money we could have used to tempt Bira back to the Lamex is going to be put to better use in the weeks ahead. And maybe we’ve already seen a statement of intent from this new-look Stevenage unit, if our latest midfield acquisition is anything to go by.
Steven Schumacher has joined from Fleetwood Town and adds a huge amount of strength to the middle of the park. You may remember Schumey as the geezer who pinged two screamers into the back of our net while playing for Bury a few years back – and he’s won promotion from League Two on a couple of occasions, which means there’s a hattrick now up for grabs.
We’re now blessed with talent in midfield: Schumey himself, Dean Parrett, Chris Whelpdale, David McAllister, Charlie Lee to name but a few. Either we’re going to have a serious battle for competition in that department, or the influence of Teddy’s ex-Spurs manager Ossie Ardilles will be seen shining through on the opening day with our unprecedented 2-3-5 formation.
Not only that, but Schumacher tells us his decision to come south to Stevenage was motivated, in part, by the words of former skipper Mark Roberts. It’s obviously encouraging to hear that Robbo still has affection for Boro’, but maybe we’re missing the very real question here – why the hell did Robbo then decide that Cambridge United can be considered career progression..?