Footballers’ careers can go in all sorts of directions. Some start at the top and stay there throughout. Ryan Giggs would fit in this category. Others are supposedly destined for greatness but never quite live up to that potential. Danny Cadamarteri is one such example. George Boyd is going about it a different way. He was released by Charlton Athletic at the age of 16 and was told it was unlikely he would make it at the top level. Undeterred by this, he was forced to look further down the footballing ladder to continue in his quest to be an elite level performer.
He turned up at Stevenage Borough in the fifth tier of English football and set about working his way into their first team. This did not come overnight and for the first two seasons he had to make do with featuring for the youth team and occasionally the reserves. His life outside of football was a struggle as well as he was living away from home for the first time. Working everyday in a train station sweetshop afforded him enough money to travel back to his family at weekends. But the hard work and sacrifices paid off and he became a prominent feature in the Stevenage side during the 2004/05 season as the Hertfordshire outfit made the Conference play-off final. The following season he continued in a similar vein and his 47 appearances produced 12 goals.
He was soon whisked off to Peterborough, who were at the time playing in League Two, for a then non-league record transfer fee of £260,000. He soon established himself as one of the Posh’s main men as they secured back-to-back promotions to the Championship.
In the summer there were some suggestions that this jump had come too quickly for the Chatham born winger. These claims were wide of the mark and he has enjoyed his most impressive season to date with 12 goals coming in 31 outings. Along with this the 24-year-old made his 125th consecutive appearance for the Cambridgeshire side, a club record. These are impressive stats as he has been playing in a struggling team.
In a career that has seen him steadily climb the leagues after rejection by Charlton, it is inevitable that sooner or later Boyd will be offered the chance to make the biggest leap of all, into the Premier League.