Meet the Blues – 1

Fred Burbridge (2)FRED BURBIDGE – Goalkeeper
Fred joined the Blues in the summer. Previously he came through the Boreham Wood youth set-up and played several times against Stortford’s Academy side in the past few seasons in the National League under-19s Alliance. He made his senior debut for Boreham Wood in an FA Trophy tie away at Blyth Spartans in January.

Ben SampayoBEN SAMPAYO – Defender
Ben joined Stortford for a second spell at the beginning of last November. Originally he was a member of the Chelsea squad that won the FA Youth Cup in 2010 when he was a non-playing substitute in both legs of the final against Aston Villa. After leaving Chelsea in June 2011 he joined Brighton & Hove Albion where he made one first team appearance that being when the Seagulls played Wrexham in an FA Cup tie in January 2012. His first spell with Stortford was in the later stages of the 2012/13 campaign, the Club’s last season in the Conference North. Ben made 10 appearances for Stortford and made his debut in a 3-1 home defeat to Brackley Town. He then had a spell with Chelmsford City before going up to Scotland to Greenock Morton. Unfortunately his time north of the border was curtailed by a serious injury. Eventually, Ben joined Brentwood Town in the 2016/17 term and then played for Heybridge Swifts last season and was part of the Swifts’ team that had a great run into the first round of the FA Cup before being eliminated at Exeter City. He then had spells with East Thurrock United and Aveley last season and continued this season with the Millers before arriving at the ProKit (UK) Stadium.
At the end of last season Ben had made 37 appearances for the Blues.

Sam RobbinsSAM ROBBINS – Defender
27 year-old Sam joined Stortford from Waltham Abbey in the summer of 2018. He began his career at Wingate & Finchley before moving on to the Abbotts. He spent the three seasons at Waltham Abbey playing well over 100 games, mainly in central defence where his superb reading of the game, speed and tenacious attitude caught the eye of the management. Sam made his Stortford debut in a Herts Charity Cup tie against Hitchin Town in early August last year and is the skipper of the side. He scored his first Blues goal in the 2-1 victory at Worthing in November. At the end of the season Sam was awarded both “the players’ player of the season” award and “the Manager’s player of the season” award. By the end of last term Sam had made 49 appearances and netted two goals for Stortford.

Ryan HenshawRYAN HENSHAW – Defender
Ryan joined Stortford in early November 2018 making his debut in a 1-0 home victory over AFC Hornchurch. Originally he was a long serving defender with AFC Sudbury who he first signed for as a 1- year-old in March 2010 and making his first team debut the following month. Altogether he wracked up 304 appearances for the Suffolk club netting 33 goals. As a youngster he also played for Cornard United and Witham Town and was also picked for the Essex under-18 representative team as well as having trials for the English under 18-schools side.
Ryan Henshaw 2Ryan has also had short spells with Chelmsford City, Haverhill Rovers, Billericay Town, Braintree Town, Eastleigh and Welling United. While with AFC Sudbury he helped them gain promotion into the Ryman Premier League by winning the Division One North Championship and that season, 2015/16, he was selected for that division’s “Team of the Season”. Ryan was with Sudbury until June 2017 when he transferred to Heybridge Swifts and was an important part of the Essex side’s excellent run in the FA Cup in the 2017/18 season that saw them eventually go out at Exeter City in the 1st Round. That season also saw Ryan win the “Manager’s Player of the Year Award” as well as the “Players’ Player of the Year Award”. Also, at the League’s Award function in June 2018 he was selected in the Bostik North’s Team of the Year and a month earlier Ryan was selected for the prestigious Middlesex Wanderers touring side to the Turks and Caicos Islands. He notched his first Blues’ goal when scoring the only goal in the Boxing Day win over Harlow Town. Ryan had, by the end of last season, made 28 appearances and netted three goals for the Blues.