Joe Martin Player Profile
Debut: Newport County (H, 3-3), 05/08/2017
Left-back Joe Martin signed for Stevenage in June 2017, one of a number of summer additions by manager Darren Sarll. A former England U16 and U17 international, Martin came to the Lamex from League One side Millwall. And, with him, came a fair deal of Football League experience for a 28-year-old.
The defender was born in Dagenham and started his football career as a member of the academy at West Ham. In 2005, however, he swapped east for north London; joining Tottenham’s academy and signing his first pro deal in 2007. A first taste of first team football wouldn’t be long in coming, but it wasn’t to be in the Premier League.
Martin went even further north in March 2008, signing for Blackpool on loan. Injury meant he had to wait to make his debut, eventually turning out for the Tangerines on the last day of the season. He made enough of an impact at the club for Blackpool to submit a bid for his services that summer. In July, the move was made a permanent one.
The lure of Championship football had attracted him away from Spurs. Injuries, however, continued to play a part in his time at Blackpool. In the two years he spent at the club, he probably made fewer appearances than he’d have hoped and was released in summer 2010 by Ian Holloway.
Martin returned south, spending a number of months on trial with Gillingham before the then-League Two side opted to sign him. He made his debut in December 2010, turning out for the club for more than five years after that. During that time, he won the 2012-3 League Two title with the Gills and earned a place in the PFA League Two Team of the Year. In 2015, however, he was released by the club.
Back to London, next up was Millwall. In his second season at the Den, he helped the club to win promotion to the Championship but, again, was surplus to requirements. That was to be to Boro’s gain, swooping to sign him and – in doing so – adding a wealth of valuable experience to the back line ahead of the 2017-8 League Two campaign.
Under Sarll’s management, Martin was a regular in the Boro’ side. But he found things a little different when Dino Maamria took over. After slipping down the pecking order at the start of the 2018-9 campaign, Martin went to Bristol Rovers on loan for the first half of the season. Upon returning, he forced his way back into the Boro’ reckoning for the final few games. But there would be no long-term future at the club; the club releasing him at the end of the season, and the player moving on to join Northampton Town.