Our non-league scouting efforts turned up another fresh prospect in early 2021 with the signing of forward Jacob Bancroft. The teenage talent arrived at the Lamex from Oxford City; a club that he’d only been at for a handful of months. Such was the rapid impact he had there, however, that Boro’s management wasted no time in swooping for him during the January transfer window. And hopes were certainly high for his development here.
Boss Alex Revell certainly wasn’t short of optimism and encouragement after Bancroft’s signing. On the day of his arrival the gaffer commented: “Jacob is a young and exciting prospect. He has shown in the National League South that he has talent. As a football club we need to develop that talent and help him further his career as a professional footballer. We are excited to work with him and see where the journey takes us.”
In the end, however, the young forward wouldn’t kick a ball in vain for us. He didn’t feature on our retained list for the 2021-2 campaign; Bancroft released by the club and left looking for a new club. A few weeks later, he returned to Oxford City to pick up where he left off.
Jacob Bancroft: Before’ Boro
The young forward only arrived at Marsh Lane in September 2020; his time at National League South level proving to be a short, yet productive one. The reason he joined the Hoops was because Swindon Town elected to release him. It’s perhaps understandable; Bancroft seeing his first team football action while out on loan with teams like Salisbury, Thatcham Town and Wantage Town.
But it did also end a long assocation with the Robins; one that started as a 14-year-old member of their youth team. Before that, he also represented Aldershot Town for a bit. With his move to us in January 2021, that opportuntiy to make a name for himself in the Football League reappeared. And Boro’ would probably have no regrets if Bancroft was able to show the Robins what they’d let slip through their fingers.