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.”