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Foundation

Foundation Feature | Shay Sterry

4 April 2023

Foundation

Foundation Feature | Shay Sterry

4 April 2023

It's the dream of every Shrewsbury fan to run out at Montgomery Waters Meadow and play alongside some of your heroes.

And that's exactly what happened to Shay Sterry after he won a competition to play in the Dave Edwards charity match.

The 16-year-old, who is a talented goalkeeper, is actually part of the Shrewsbury Town Youth Development Phase having first joined our Ludlow Advanced Development Centre when he was nine.

But after winning a ballot to feature in the Dave Edwards charity match, he got to play alongside a host of his favourite players and meet his idol Joe Hart at the exhibition match which took place on March 26.

Shay impressed as an outfield player in the first half - and at one stage cheekily nutmegged Wolves favourite Stephen Hunt.

Then after the interval he got a chance to go in goal - with the teenager making some excellent saves as Town went on to beat Wolves 4-3.

Here we caught up with Shay to get his thoughts on the day.

Congratulations on winning a place to play in the Shrewsbury Town FC team against Wolves! How did it feel to receive such an exciting opportunity?  

"To be given the opportunity to play with and against some of the players I grew up watching was amazing.

"From the moment I got the call, I couldn’t wait, I was buzzing.

"At first I was very nervous, especially on the media day, because I was meeting Dave and Harry, the winner to play on the Wolves team, for the very first time.

"Being recorded and interviewed was completely out of my comfort zone. However, on match day, my nerves settled as soon as I stepped onto the pitch to warm up, my footballing instincts kicked in, and I felt confident in my ability. 

Can you talk us through your experience of playing in the charity match?  

"When I arrived, I met all the Shrewsbury players in the changing rooms, before having a look at the pitch and meeting one of my childhood heroes, Joe Hart.

"We then went and got changed ready for the warm-up.

"Once we’d finished the warm-up, we headed back into the changing rooms for a team talk and to put our kits on, then walked out onto the pitch.

"After the game, I also had the great opportunity to meet some young fans, the club chairman and chat to some players off the pitch."

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How did you prepare for it and what was the game like? 

"It was unreal, to be surrounded by professionals, both on and off the field. It gave me a real insight into the world of professional football.

"It is every young footballer’s dream to step onto a football pitch in front of that many fans, so to be able to get a feel of it while sharing the pitch with some great characters, is definitely an experience I will never forget." 

How has this experience impacted your development as a football player? Has it motivated you to work harder towards achieving your goals? 

"The experience has definitely set my mind on wanting to play the highest level of football possible.

"When I first stepped onto that pitch in front of my family and thousands of fans, I realised that playing professional football was what I wanted to chase in life, so it has definitely motivated me to be the best I possibly can, and push for it."

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