Jamal Campbell-Ryce Player Profile
Debut: Swansea City (H, 5-0), 28/08/2018
“I may be 35 but I feel 25. I still have plenty still to offer and I am as hungry as ever” – Jamal Campbell-Ryce was in bullish form upon his arrival at Stevenage. The veteran winger was the third new addition to the Boro’ squad in summer 2018; gaffer Dino Maamria looking for some experience to complement the younger talent already at the club.
Born in sarf London, the former Jamaican international (as he was when he joined Boro’) started his career at Charlton Athletic. Here at The Valley, the winger spent three years and made about as many appearances; instead gaining most of his Football League experience at Leyton Orient, Wimbledon and Chesterfield. In 2004, however, the time came for him to leave the Addicks and his career took him north to South Yorkshire and Rotherham United.
The Millers provided more first team opportunities, but Campbell-Ryce again found himself moving about on loan. First, he spent time at Southend United before being recalled. And then it was back to Essex, this time with Colchester United. In search of regular football, however, the player’s time at Rotherham came to an end after two years and Southend was to be where the next chapter of his career would unfold.
Life on the Essex coast saw many more first team opportunities, and he must’ve made an impression during that 2006-7 campaign. Barnsley came in with a £250,000 bid in August 2007 and – though initially rejected – would see Campbell-Ryce head back to Yorkshire after the deal was completed on deadline day. Barnsley is arguably where the winger truly established himself in the League; featuring regularly across three seasons at the club and contributing goals too.
In January 2010, the winger was on the move west; Bristol City swooping to secure his services for an undisclosed fee. His debut, though, not one to remember; the Robins trounced 6-0 by Cardiff City. It didn’t impact his time at the club, fortunately. Campbell-Ryce became a first team regular, usually as wing-back. But the arrival of Derek McInnes as manager at Ashton Gate changed that.
After a loan spell at Leyton Orient took him up to the end of the 2011-2 campaign, Campbell-Ryce joined Notts County in summer 2012. Two years on, he moved to Sheffield United; continuing to build up League experience all the while and scoring fairly frequently for a player in his position. During his time at Bramall Lane, he returned to Notts County on loan, before a stint at Chesterfield too.
Sheffield United released him in summer 2016 and Barnet would be the next port of call. He went on to spend 18 months with the Bees, before making the long move north in February 2018 to join Carlisle United. It wasn’t a spectacular success as moves go; just nine appearances were made in a three-month stay at Brunton Park. And, at the end of the 2017-8 campaign, Carlisle released him.
Boro’ boss Dino Maamria made his mov; bringing Campbell-Ryce to the club and landing a player capable of causing plenty of problems for League Two defences. We saw some vintage Campbell-Ryce while he was with us, but not often enough. Injury didn’t help as the midfielder saw out the campaign in the physio room. And after the season was over, Campbell-Ryce was released on a free.