Will Grocott looking forward to captaining Stratford Town for the 2021-22 Southern Premier Central campaign
MIDFIELD maestro Will Grocott said the decision to remain at Stratford Town for another season was a no-brainer.
The popular playmaker is excited by the project that is going on at the Arden Garages Stadium, both on and off the pitch, and it’s something the former Aston Villa, Tamworth and Rugby Town man wants to be a part of going forward.
“Was it an easy decision to stay? Yes it was,” Grocott told the Herald.
“Before last season was curtailed we were third in the table and really building something. It looked as though we were going to be pushing for a really good season.
"What a lot of people don’t see is the work that goes on behind the scenes and this project is something I really want to be a part of.
“I’m now entering my fifth season with Stratford Town. It’s a great club which cares about the fans and players – we’re all looked after really well. This club is really going places so it was a no-brainer to stay.”
Now 29, Grocott is one of the more experienced players among the Bards ranks and he’s relishing the chance to wear the captain’s armband for a second successive season.
“I never really saw myself as a captain, but I really enjoyed it last year and I’m looking forward to leading the team again this year,” he said.
“I’ve been in the non-league game for nearly ten years now and I think that shows I’ve got the experience to lead the team.
“Wearing the captain’s armband is something I’m really proud of and I know this year that, with the signings we’re yet to announce, there’s going to be a good mix of young and experienced players.
"To be honest, I think this group of players is the best we’ve had prior to a pre-season in all the time that I’ve been here.
“I work with academy players at Rugby Town every day and it’s nice to see them doing well, so if I can help the younger players at Stratford and add to the experience then that’s a bonus.”
Ahead of the start of the campaign, the Bards have announced a nine-game pre-season schedule which includes high-profile games against Coventry City (20th July), Yeovil Town (24th July) and Leicester City (3rd August), all of which take place at the Arden Garages Stadium.
And with the start of the season scheduled to start on 14th August, Grocott says the Bards will be going all out for promotion to step two of the non-league pyramid.
“Stratford Town are a club that I don’t think many people will be mentioning as one that will be up there, but you have to remember we were third last year and reached the play-offs in 2018-19. With the lads that are here, the mindset will be to try and win the league," he said.
“If you don’t have that mindset then what’s the point in playing football? With the squad that we’ve got, I think play-offs will be the minimum.”
When asked about his own personal targets for the season ahead, Grocott said: “I always want to score more goals and last year I was put on penalties. I think I scored five or six penalties, which certainly helped the goal tally.
“Realistically, as an attacking midfielder, I think my aim should be to score around 15 goals and get as many assists as I can. Scoring more goals is something I strive to do and I think it’s an attacking midfielder’s role to be able to contribute with goals.”
Grocott is also hoping to see more fans at the Arden Garages Stadium this season. “When they see what players we’ve signed, more will want to come and watch us,” he said.