“Stevenage are a great club, and that is why I am here” – it’s fair to say Bradley Barry won us over straight away when he signed for us in July 2021. Flattery, kids, will get you everywhere. The fact is that here was a 26-year-old full back who’d just become our sixth summer signing. He came in from Barrow ahead of the 2021-2 season; a side who (coincidentally) were our first opponents of that campaign. There’s nothing like a bit of in-depth intelligence to get things started right.
The defender can also provide cover in midfield and came to us with plenty of experience. With the exception of a loan spell at Dover Athletic, Barry spent his entire career before us playing in the Football League. He explained: “I have spoken to the manager, and I like the way he wants to play… I want to win football games. I will always have a soft spot for Barrow but now my love is Stevenage. We want to win games and entertain the fans.”
If only that desire translated into results. Barry’s only season with us was a troublesome one; spent largely fighting for survival at the wrong end of the table. Entertainment? That was very much at a premium too – certainly ’til Steve Evans took charge in the last few weeks of the campaign. And on a personal note for the player? He spent time skirting around the edges of the first team without ever nailing a spot down for himself; a total of 10 starts and seven sub outings not probably what Barry had in mind when he arrived. He was one of a number to be let go at the end of the campaign.
Bradley Barry: Before Boro’
Now, as we said, Barry came to us with a lot of experience. A native of Hastings, it’s no surprise that he started out as a yoof at Brighton & Hove Albion. But he left the Seagulls without making a single senior appearance. That would be to Swindon Town’s gain when the Robins picked him up in summer 2015. A one-year deal turned into two, but there would be no more. In 2017, Barry was on the move again; this time to Chesterfield.
The first thing to notice is that the Spireites were the first club that he played for without a bird as a nickname. The second is that he was there for two years, playing more than 50 times. There was also his brief loan spell at Dover in the middle of that period. That loan only came to an end when his parent club faced a bit of a crisis of the injury front. With his Chesterfield contract at its end in summer 2019, Barry made the long trek north west to Holker Street.