Category: Interviews

Mikey George: “It feels really good to be back with my hometown club”

Following the confirmation that Mikey George would be returning to Jenner Park, we caught up with the midfielder to get his thoughts on the move.

Hi Mikey, welcome back to Barry. What made you want to return to the club?

“I was really disappointed to leave the club last summer, and wanted to come back straight away. But in a way, going away and getting more experience under my belt has grown my confidence and I think it’s given Gav more confidence in me as well. It feels really good to be back with my hometown club, it really does.

“To be honest Gav is the main reason why I’m coming back because he made me the player that I am today. In terms of my technical ability, my fitness, my weight of pass, how to read the game – that’s all down to Gav. He taught me the ins and outs of the league. I take my hat off to him as a coach because he’s absolutely fantastic.”

How do you think you’ve changed in the last year since you left the club?

“The main thing is maturity. When I was coming through the Barry youth system and breaking into the first team, I was still a teenager learning the game. But now I’ve gone out and experienced men’s football, I’ve controlled what was inside of me. I understand the game better and deal with the officials better. I definitely feel more confident now.”

You were at Penybont last season and Llanelli on loan the year before, how good was it to be playing regular top-flight football?

“It was a fantastic experience. Playing against some of the best players in the league was great. I played a more defensive role at Penybont which I hadn’t done before, so I feel I can now offer more in the midfield. I’m a more well-rounded player for sure.”

Being from Barry, how does it feel to play for your hometown club?

“It was always a dream of mine since I was a kid. I’ve been watching Barry for years and always wanted to play for them. So it feels amazing.”

Does it make it easier coming back to a club and squad that you know?

“Obviously some players have been added, but I feel I had a good relationship with the team before, so it shouldn’t take me long to settle back in. Curtis [Hutson] has joined as well and he was a good mate of mine at Penybont. I really feel as though the dressing room will be good this year and that’s key to being successful because you want to work hard for each other.”

I’m sure fans will remember you from your first spell at the club, but just as a reminder, what sort of player are you and what do you hope to bring to the team?

“Fans will remember me as the little terrier on the pitch that always tries to win the ball back and has loads of energy, and that hasn’t changed. But I’m also more relaxed now and will offer more for the team.”

What are your ambitions for the new season?

“I obviously want to try and start as many games as I can. But for the team, I honestly believe we can go far in the Europa League and I genuinely think we can win the league. With the squad that we have, it’s young, fresh and there’s depth there too. There’s also lots of experience too. With that combination, I’m confident this year, I really am.”

Finally, any message for the fans?

“Just to let you know that I’m back and ready to go straight away! I’ve got loads of energy, and hopefully you can see I’m a more versatile player now with a better passing range. I’ve got fire inside me and I hope to see you all as soon as possible.”

Curtis Hutson: “I can’t wait to get started”

Following the confirmation that Curtis Hutson would be returning to Jenner Park, we caught up with the winger to get his thoughts on the move.

Hi Curtis, welcome back to Barry. What made you want to return to the club?

“Everything that is going on at the club at the moment is really exciting, there’s a lot of ambition. I believe in Gav’s vision for the future and feel I have a place in that. I think I can bring a different element to the team that’s not there at the moment. It will be exciting to be around people who can challenge me and get the best out of me.

“I know a lot of the boys already too, I grew up with Clayton and I played with some of them at Cardiff City. It’s important for me to be in an environment where there are a few more players that I know and that understand me.”

What are your memories from your time at the club before in the 2014/15 season?

“I was only young and I didn’t really play as much as I wanted to, but it was good to be part of a squad that won the league. It was my first experience of winning a title, so that was great. But I just felt like I needed to get more experience.”

How do you think you’ve changed in the five years since you left the club?

“I’ve definitely think I’ve matured as a player. I’ve learnt to be critical of myself and to work hard on any areas that I feel I’m slacking on. I don’t turn a blind eye to poor performances. I’ve been more honest with myself and that’s really helped me improve.”

You have spent the last two years at Penybont, helping win promotion to the Cymru Premier and playing regularly last season. How did you find your time there?

“Winning the league and going unbeaten was a season to remember. Not many players can say they’ve gone through undefeated seasons, so the memories will stick with me forever. It was then good to get some experience in the Cymru Premier last season and I feel I put in some good performances.”

You played in both games against Barry last season, how did you find that?

“I won a penalty in the first game of the season which was good. Obviously the Barry squad was more experienced in the league and a lot stronger, but it made me realise that I could play at this level and do well. A good season of hard work was essential for me, and I feel I had that.”  

Some fans might remember you from your first spell at the club, but for those that don’t, what sort of player are you and what do you hope to bring to the team?

“I’m primarily a winger, but can also play up top or in the ten. I enjoy going forward and creating chances, and most importantly scoring goals.” 

What are your ambitions for the new season?

“I’ve got used to the league now and I’ve been working hard since the season ended so I really want to kick on now. I would love to be in the team of the year, because it would show I am capable of being up there with the best.

“I’d like to be competitive with as many as goals as I can too. The standard that Kayne sets is amazing, and that provides me with a target too. I like to aim high. I’ve put the foundations in place and now I can’t wait to get started.”

Finally, any message for the fans?

“It’s horrible playing against Barry when you’ve got all those fans against you! They’re amazing fans and I can’t think of anything better than having them behind me. Out of all the supporters I’ve heard in the league, they’ve got to be the best.

“I remember a chant I had before. It didn’t rhyme but I loved it. It was “Who needs Giggsy, we’ve got Curtis!” because he’s my cousin. I’ve always remembered that.”

Nat Jarvis: “It’s been a long time coming but is finally done”

Following the confirmation of the signing of Nat Jarvis, we caught up with the striker who gave his first interview as a Barry Town player.

Hi Nat, welcome to Barry Town. The move has been talked about for a while now, how pleased are you to have signed for the club?

“I’m buzzing. I’m really happy to be linking up with Gav as a manager and my close friends who have played for the club for a few seasons. It’s a stone’s throw away from my house, so it will be great to be playing closer to home also.

“It’s been close before, and me and Gav have spoken in probably the last three four or seasons, but I’ve put it off a couple times not feeling that the move would be the right one for me. But this time it feels like perfect timing. I’m really happy to have finally got it done.”

Having spoken to Gavin Chesterfield, how did he convince you to sign?

“It’s his drive and hunger to compete at the highest level and compete in Europe regularly. I’ve worked with him before at uni level, so I know what his sessions are like. The way he goes about things is very professional and he pays a lot of attention to detail.

“He has assured me that he’s the manager to play to my strengths. I’ve been to places where I’ve had to stamp my authority or show what I’m good at, as some managers haven’t known what sort of player I am or what I need around me to get the best out of me. But I think a lot of the players that he has assembled at Barry will compliment me quite well.”

You know a few of the boys in the squad already, was that a big factor in the move for you?

“It was massive for me. As I’ve travelled around quite a lot to play football, I’ve had to get to know lots of different people – some friendly, some not! But this team that Gav has assembled is just full of players that I know and that I’ve played with before. So it definitely seems to fit the bill.

“Luke Cooper and Clayts have pestered me for a while about signing, and I’ve told them before when I’ve been close and it hasn’t quite happened and they’ve been disappointed. But this time around they’re really happy!”

You grew up in Cardiff, came through the Cardiff City academy but have spent the last few years playing in the English system, are you pleased to be back in Wales?

“Definitely. It’s easier when you’re younger, but travelling around a lot does take its toll on you, especially if you’re at a club where you’re not playing. So I’m really, really happy to be back home.”

It will be your first taste of the Cymru Premier, are you looking forward to that?

“It’s a fresh challenge for me, which me and Gav talked about a lot. There’s the chance to play in Europe too, which I’ve never done before. I’m looking forward to playing against new teams, and they probably won’t know as much about me as teams over in England would.”

For fans who might not know too much about you, what sort of player are you and what do you hope to bring to the team?

“Pace, power and goals! I’ve got lots of drive and lots of experience to give. I can be direct and aggressive at times. I’m quite strong with my back to goal and link up well with other strikers, helping bring them into the game. I’m good aerially too – I played with Jack Compton at Chippenham and any time he looked to cross I would be in the box ready to pounce!”

Finally, the fans have been calling for this signing for a while, do you have any message for them?

“I’m delighted to have signed for the club. It’s been a long time coming but is finally done. I’ve come here to win, to play in Europe and score goals! It won’t be long until the fans will be back at Jenner Park after such a tough few months with regards to Covid-19. Be safe and look forward to seeing you soon!”