Matty Hayward – @MattyHayward96
Matty discusses new Gull Ross Marshall
Here’s something I never thought I’d write: thank you to Ipswich Town’s academy. This week, Ross Marshall became the third Tractor Boy graduate to sign for Torquay this summer, joining Dylan Crowe and Brett McGavin in making the transition from Suffolk starlet to Devon dynamo. But who on earth is Ross Marshall? Well, I’ve read his Wikipedia so you don’t have to
Marshall was born in Norwich, and, as a young lad, was picked by Ipswich from Hertfordshire minnows Broxborne Borough. Brief loans at Lowestoft and Braintree failed to earn him a new contract at Portman Road and in the summer of 2019 he signed for Maidstone. He made 21 appearances in the covid-affected 2019-20 season, “earning” (insofar as one can earn a move to Stevenage) a Football League deal.
Marshall played 15 times for The Boro in his first season, and a further five in his second before being shifted out to Barnet for the rest of the 2021-22 campaign. His debut for The Bees came in a February Desmond at Plainmoor: an early brace from League Two’s Connor Lemonheigh-Evans was neutered by strikes from Adam Marriott and Ephron Mason-Clark.
We definitely shouldn’t jump to conclusions, and there’s no suggestion that this was his fault alone, but in his sixteen appearances for the North London club he was involved in a 6-0 defeat at Wrexham, a 7-3 gazzumping at Dagenham, and a 4-2 schooling at home to Bromley. For balance, his defence also kept three clean sheets, for which Marshall is solely responsible.
The club, to their credit, are doing well with this highlights package malarkey. This one includes, but is not limited to, Marshall tackling some footballers, passing the football, and making a muggery of League One’s Armani Little. I have to say, in terms of stature and style, he looks a bit like a right-footed, sensibly-barnetted Kyle Cameron.
POSITION – Centre Back
DATE OF BIRTH – 09/10/1999
HEIGHT – 1.91m
BIRTHPLACE – Norwich
PREVIOUS CLUBS – Ipswich Town, Lowestoft, Braintree, Maidstone, Barnet, Stevenage
STATS 21-22 – National League: Played 16, Goals 0, Yellow/Red Cards 7/0
Gary Johnson on Marshall – “We were first aware of him when he played against us for Barnet, he’s had an Ipswich upbringing, so it’s another one for our ‘Ipswich B team’. We didn’t know he knew Ali, and knew the other lads, so it’s another one that comes into a group that generally know each other already, and that’s good. He’s a confident lad, that’s for sure, and I’m very happy to have him in our club”.
Most/Least Likely To
Most Likely To:
- Be a first-choice centre back. It has been mentioned that he’s played as a holding midfielder in his career, but with the abundance of those at the club this summer it makes sense that he’ll be a direct replacement for Joe Lewis.
- Be asked what the weather’s like up there (he’s 6ft3, which is quite tall).
- Have people call him things like “Ross the Boss” without a hint of how cringe that is.
Least Likely To:
- Be flustered by the National League’s Big Bastards.
- Mention any history between Stevenage and Torquay United.
We needed at least two centre backs over the summer, and we’ve found one. I get the sense that Gary is shaping up to start with a back three this season; a team made up of enormous blokes plus Tom Lapslie and the lad from Cardiff, lacking a bit in experience perhaps but making up for that in horribleness. Marshall looks more than that, though: he is good on the ball and, with a bit of guidance from the best manager in the league, can probably be crafted into a classy centre half. Or, he might be terrible. I guess the point of watching football is that you go and find these things out!