Darren Sarll was no stranger to Stevenage Football Club by the time he was added to Teddy Sheringham‘s coaching staff in summer 2015. In two stints at the Lamex, Sarll had taken charge of the reserve and youth teams. He’d also been seen by some as a future first team manager too.
In addition to his time at the Lamex, Sarll gained his experience in a couple of Football League roles – first in charge of Brentford’s youth side, followed by a spell as Head of Player Development at Rotherham United. But it seemed the path would always be guiding him ‘home’ to Stevenage, a club for whom Sarll holds in high affection and instilled a real determination to do well on the pitch in his new and senior position.
Darren Sarll: In The Hotseat
The way in which his appointment came about in early 2016, however, was not exactly smooth. Not as transitions go, at least. Boro’ were struggling at the wrong end of the League Two table; former Spurs and Manchester United striker Sheringham leaving his post as a result. The man to pick up the pieces? It was Sarll.
A coaching team came together to help guide the club away from the drop zone. Under Sarll’s leadership, there were signs of improvement from Boro’; finishing the 2015-6 campaign on a relative high. Well, we were back from the brink. And it might not seem glamorous looking back, but – after the darkest days of November and December – it was welcome!
The initial appointment was on a caretaker basis; Boro’s finish to the season giving the board the confidence to make his managerial stay permanent. It’s a decision that made absolute sense at the time; Sarll developing as a manager and aided by the support of advisor Glenn Roeder. The appointment had the support of players and supporters alike, with optimism starting to circulate once again.