Joel Byrom

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Joel Byrom
Joel Byrom York City v. Northwich Victoria 1.png
Byrom playing for Northwich Victoria
Personal information
Full name Joel Alan Byrom[1]
Date of birth (1986-09-14) 14 September 1986 (age 28)
Place of birth Oswaldtwistle, England
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)[2]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Northampton Town
(on loan from Preston North End)
Number 25
Youth career
2001–2005 Blackburn Rovers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2006 Blackburn Rovers 0 (0)
2006–2007 Accrington Stanley 1 (0)
2007 Clitheroe 21 (11)
2007 Southport 2 (2)
2007–2008 Clitheroe 18 (3)
2008–2009 Northwich Victoria 49 (9)
2009–2012 Stevenage 77 (9)
2012– Preston North End 33 (4)
2014 Oldham Athletic (loan) 4 (0)
2014– Northampton Town (loan) 10 (1)
National team
2009 England C 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:29, 20 October 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 05:35, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Joel Alan Byrom (born 14 September 1986) is an English professional footballer who plays for Preston North End as a midfielder.

Byrom started his career at Blackburn Rovers at the age of 14, and spent four and a half years on the club's books, progressing from their centre of excellence to the reserve team. However, he failed to make any first-team appearances for the club, and was subsequently released in summer 2006. He joined League Two outfit Accrington Stanley before the start of the 2006–07 season, but only managed a total of two appearances. He was released by the club in January 2007, and opted to join local side Clitheroe on a short-term basis. Byrom then joined Southport, scoring twice in two appearances for the side, before rejoining Clitheroe in August 2007; captaining the side at the age of 20.

He attracted the interest of Northwich Victoria, who subsequently signed him for a small four-figure fee in January 2008. Byrom spent a year and a half at the Cheshire club, before joining Stevenage for a fee of £15,000 in May 2009 – helping them achieve promotion to the Football League for the first time in the club's history. Byrom was also part of the Stevenage side that earned back-to-back promotions to League One during the 2010–11 season. He has also played for the England C team and earned his solitary cap in a game against the Belgium U21 team.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Born in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, Byrom started his career at the Blackburn Rovers centre of excellence after being spotted playing for local junior side Oswaldtwistle United at the age of 14.[3] He progressed through the youth system at Ewood Park, and captained the under–17 side,[4] before graduating into the reserve team after impressing in the FA Youth Cup in 2004.[5] However, he failed to break into the first-team and was subsequently released in 2006.[6] He signed for League Two outfit Accrington Stanley on a six-month contract ahead of the 2006–07 season, after impressing manager John Coleman whilst on trial, a trial which Byrom had requested.[7] He made his debut for the Lancashire side in a 1–1 draw against Carlisle United in the Football League Trophy in October 2006.[8] However, Byrom found it difficult to break into the first-team, making one further appearance for Stanley, featuring as a substitute in a 3–3 draw with Shrewsbury Town.[9] He was subsequently released in January 2007, after being deemed surplus to requirements at the Crown Ground.[10] Byrom later stated at this stage in his career he "considered just getting a job and playing for fun", and that his time at Accrington "wasn't really a good time for me. I didn't play much".[11]

Shortly after, Byrom joined Northern Premier League First Division side Clitheroe on a short-term contract.[12] He finished the 2006–07 season top scorer with 11 league goals despite only joining the club in January 2007, including a hat-trick against Kidsgrove Athletic.[13] However, Byrom's Clitheroe contract expired and Conference North side Southport took him on non-contract terms for the start of the 2007–08 season, where he scored two goals in two games.[14][15] Despite being offered a contract by Southport manager Peter Davenport, Byrom opted to re-join Clitheroe in August 2007.[15] On signing a two-year deal with Clitheroe, Byrom said "I thought about giving up football when I left Accrington, but I really enjoyed my time at Clitheroe, they've given me a new lease of life and a license to do what I want on the park".[15] Clitheroe chairman, Carl Garner, said "this is a big day for Clitheroe. This is one of the biggest signings the club has made. He's a special player and a special talent".[15] In the first half of the 2007–08 season, Byrom scored six goals in all competitions for Clitheroe, which caught the attention of Conference National team Northwich Victoria.[16] He played his last game for the Northern Premier League club in a 3–3 draw with local rivals Rossendale United, a game in which he captained the side for the first time.[17]

Northwich Victoria[edit]

In January 2008, Northwich Victoria manager Dino Maamria announced the signing of Byrom on a free transfer.[18] He made his debut for Northwich in a 2–1 defeat against Aldershot Town at Victoria Stadium, scoring Northwich's goal.[19] Byrom played in the centre of midfield in Northwich's following match against Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium, setting up Northwich's only goal in a 4–1 defeat.[20] He also assisted Northwich's second goal in a 3–2 win away at Woking.[21] Byrom scored his second goal for Northwich two weeks later, scoring Northwich's second as they came back from a one goal deficit to win 3–1 against Droylsden.[22] He also provided the assist for Mark Roberts to score Northwich's second goal in a 4–3 victory against fellow relegation candidates Stafford Rangers.[23] Byrom also scored in a 1–1 draw away to Histon in early April 2008, netting from 25 yards in the 88th minute to ensure Northwich earned a point.[24] He scored a week later against Exeter City at St James Park; "firing in an unstoppable 30-yard free-kick" to restore parity in the 11th minute, although Northwich went on to lose the match 2–1.[25] Byrom added a fifth goal to end the season, scoring the club's second in a 2–1 away victory at Stevenage, a result that ultimately secured Northwich's Conference National status for another season.[26] He played in a total of 21 games during the club's 2007–08 campaign, scoring five times from midfield.[27][26]

Ahead of the 2008–09 season, Byrom featured regularly in Northwich's pre-season campaign, and scored twice in a friendly game against Manchester United reserves in August 2008.[28] During the early stages of the season, Byrom was a permanent fixture in the centre of Northwich's midfield. He created both of Northwich's goals in a 2–1 win at home to newly promoted Barrow,[29] as well as scoring away at Kettering Town, a "25-yard drive into the top corner of the net".[30] He also created both of Northwich's goals in a victory against Grays Athletic in October 2008.[31] However, Byrom had a hernia operation shortly after the club's 4–1 loss to Eastbourne Borough in December,[32][33] keeping him out of the first-team for a total of ten weeks.[27] He returned to first-team action in February 2009, playing the whole match in a 1–0 defeat to Altrincham.[34] He was a regular until the end of the season, and scored his second career hat-trick against Rushden and Diamonds in a 4–2 victory,[35] although could not prevent the Vics relegation from the Conference National in April 2009 despite the club winning their last six games of the campaign.[36] Byrom's last match for Northwich was in the club's 2–1 away win at the Kassam Stadium against Oxford United.[37] He played a total of 52 games during his one and a half-year tenure with Northwich, scoring nine goals.[38]

Stevenage[edit]

In May 2009, Stevenage signed Byrom for a fee of £15,000.[39] Byrom was assigned the number 13 shirt ahead of the club's 2009–10 campaign.[40] He made his debut for the Hertfordshire side in a 1–1 draw at home to Tamworth in the opening game of the 2009–10 season, but was sent-off in the 90th minute for a second bookable offence.[41] He scored his first Stevenage goal on his return to the first-team in a 3–0 win against Ebbsfleet United,[42] and also provided the assist for Stevenage's second in a 2–0 victory over Eastbourne Borough.[43] Byrom scored his second goal for Stevenage in a 1–1 draw against Kettering Town in October 2009, curling a free-kick around the wall and into the net.[44][45] He netted his third of the campaign in March 2010, scoring from just inside Crawley Town's half, lobbing the ball into the net from 45-yards.[46] Shortly after, Byrom added a fourth goal to his tally in Stevenage colours in April 2010, scoring from six yards in a 2–0 win over Forest Green Rovers to ensure Stevenage were just two victories away from promotion.[47] The following week, he scored once again, this time scoring the second in a 2–0 win against Kidderminster Harriers in a game that witnessed Stevenage secure promotion to the Football League for the first time in their history.[48] On finishing the season as league champions, Byrom said — "It feels brilliant. Words can't really describe it. It's an unbelievable feeling".[49] He played 48 times in all competitions during his first season with the club, scoring five goals.[50]

Byrom started in Stevenage's first ever Football League game, a 2–2 home draw against Macclesfield Town.[51] He played in Stevenage's televised League Cup loss two days later against Championship side Portsmouth. The following week, Byrom gave away a penalty in a 1–0 defeat at Bradford City, which Gareth Evans converted to score the only goal of the game.[52] After playing the whole game in Stevenage's 1–0 defeat at Cheltenham Town in September 2010, Byrom suffered a number of injuries that kept him out of the first-team for five months.[53] He returned to first-team action in February 2011, coming on as an 89th minute substitute in a 3–0 loss at Bury.[54] Four days later, he started in a 1–0 defeat at Shrewsbury Town.[55] He was an unused substitute for Stevenage's next five league matches, before starting in the club's 3–3 home draw with Bury on the final day of the 2010–11 season – playing a key role in two of Stevenage's goals to ensure the club reached the play-offs.[56] Byrom scored his first goal of the season in Stevenage's 2–0 home win against Accrington Stanley in the play-off semi-final first leg, reaching the ball before Accrington goalkeeper Alex Cisak to double Stevenage's lead.[57] He played the whole game in the second leg, a 1–0 victory that ensured Stevenage made the play-off final.[58] Byrom started in the final, a 1–0 victory against Torquay United at Old Trafford, a win that meant Stevenage earned back-to-back promotions to League One.[59][60] Despite ending the season on a positive note, Byrom made just 12 appearances, scoring once, due to a host of injuries interrupting his campaign.[61]

He made his first start of the 2011–12 season in Stevenage's first home win of the campaign, playing the first 76 minutes in a 4–2 victory over Rochdale on 3 September 2011.[62] Byrom scored his first goal of the season in the club's emphatic 6–1 away victory against Colchester United in December 2011, scoring the sixth goal after a fine individual run and finish.[63] The following month, on 14 January 2012, Byrom doubled his goal tally for the season when he scored with a first-time finish from Luke Freeman's cross in Stevenage's 5–1 win over Rochdale at Spotland.[64] Byrom scored in Stevenage's televised FA Cup tie away at Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in that year, scoring from the penalty spot to give Stevenage a brief lead before Tottenham came back to secure a 3–1 win.[65] He went on to score two further goals during the latter stages of the season; once in a 2–2 draw away at Sheffield United,[66] and the other in a 3–0 win over Bury,[67] on the last day of the regular season as Stevenage secured a play-off place following their sixth place finish.[67] He played in both play-off semi-final legs, which Stevenage lost 1–0 on aggregate to Sheffield United.[68][69] He made 40 appearances during the season, scoring five times.[70] Despite appearing regularly under new manager Gary Smith, Byrom rejected the offer of a contract extension, and left Stevenage in May 2012.[71] During his successful three-year spell with the club, he made 100 appearances in all competitions, scoring eleven goals.[72]

Preston North End[edit]

After leaving Stevenage, Byrom joined League One side Preston North End, then managed by Graham Westley, who had previously signed him for Stevenage.[73] He signed on a free transfer.[73] Byrom made his competitive debut for Preston in the club's 2–1 away victory over Bury, coming on as a second-half substitute.[74] It took Byrom just three games to open his goalscoring account, scoring the first goal in the club's 5–0 win over Hartlepool United at Deepdale.[75] In the club's following match four days later, on 22 September 2012, he netted in a 3–1 away defeat to Walsall, arriving unmarked in the area to give Preston an early lead in the match.[76] His third and final goal of the campaign came at the beginning of November 2012, scoring from the edge of the area in Preston's 3–0 FA Cup win over Yeovil Town.[77] Byrom made 27 appearances, eleven of which as a substitute, during his first season with the club, scoring three times.[78]

On 17 December 2013, Byrom extended his contract with Preston for a further twelve months, thus keeping him at the club until the summer of 2015.[79]

Oldham Athletic (loan)[edit]

On 14 March 2014, Byrom joined League One side Oldham Athletic on an emergency loan until the end of the 2013–14 season.[80]

At the end of the season and at the end of his loan spell, Byrom had made 4 appearances for the club during an injury – ravaged spell.

Northampton Town (loan)[edit]

Byrom joined Northampton Town on 21 August 2014 until the end of January 2014.[81]

International career[edit]

Byrom was called up to the England C team in May 2009, for the 2007–09 International Challenge Trophy final against a Belgium U21 side.[82] Byrom started the match, as England were beaten 1–0 at the Kassam Stadium.[83]

Style of play[edit]

Byrom is a midfielder,[40] and is more comfortable in the centre of midfield.[84] He is left-footed,[85] although the left side is not his natural position, and he is rarely deployed as a winger.[84][86] In 2007, Clitheroe chairman, Carl Garner, said that Byrom has "tremendous skill and potential",[15] adding "Joel is a quality player. He can do things with the ball that players on the television can't.[15] In May 2009, Stevenage manager Graham Westley believed that the acquisition of Byrom would "give the squad more balance",[87] and has also described him as having a "cultured left-foot" that enables him to open up opposition defences.[84] On securing the signature of Byrom, Westley said, "Joel is very creative going forward and is going to be one hell of a player. I was delighted to secure his signature as he is a real talent".[84] Dino Maamria has called Byrom a "creative midfielder", as well as being able to unlock defences.[84] Byrom has called himself "a good passer of the ball",[3] as well as being able to "chip in with a few goals and generally get the team ticking over".[3] In March 2010, following Stevenage's 3–0 win against Crawley Town, a game in which Byrom scored a goal from just inside Crawley's half,[46] Westley said that Byrom has the "ability to score spectacular goals".[87]

Honours[edit]

Stevenage

Career statistics[edit]

As of 12 January 2014.
Club Season League[A] FA Cup League Cup Other[B] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Blackburn Rovers 2005–06[88] 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Accrington Stanley 2006–07[89] 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
Total 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
Clitheroe 2006–07[90] 21 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 21 11
Total 21 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 21 11
Southport 2007–08[91] 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2
Total 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2
Clitheroe 2007–08[92] 18 3 2 1 0 0 2 2 22 6
Total 18 3 2 1 0 0 2 2 22 6
Northwich Victoria 2007–08[93] 21 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 21 5
2008–09[27] 28 4 1 0 0 0 2 0 31 4
Total 49 9 1 0 0 0 2 0 52 9
Stevenage 2009–10[50] 41 5 3 0 0 0 4 0 48 5
2010–11[61] 7 0 0 0 1 0 4 1 12 1
2011–12[70] 32 4 6 1 0 0 2 0 40 5
Total 80 9 9 1 1 0 10 1 100 11
Preston North End 2012–13[94] 22 2 2 1 1 0 2 0 27 3
2013–14[95] 11 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 13 2
Total 33 4 4 1 1 0 2 0 40 5
Career totals 204 38 16 3 2 0 17 3 240 44
A. ^ The "League" column constitutes appearances and goals (including those as a substitute) in the Football League, Football Conference and Northern Premier League.
B. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals (including those as a substitute) in the FA Trophy, Football League Trophy and play-offs.

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "Joel Byrom – ESPN". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 16 August 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c "Byrom lives the dream". Bury Times. 4 August 2006. Retrieved 16 August 2009. 
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External links[edit]