After an impressive debut season in the black and amber in 2019, Marcus Stock has fast turned into a fans’ favourite at the Knights and, after extending his stay into 2021, the 24-year-old outlined his delight at re-signing.
“I’m incredibly happy. Playing in front of thousands of people doing something you love is a dream and to be given the chance to continue doing it makes me feel so privileged,” he said. “Continuing to be part of a club on an upward trajectory with amazing coaches, teammates, fans, facilities and values was an easy decision.
“It was also a decision I’m so grateful I’m able to make.”
After joining the club ahead of 2019, the former Hemel Stags forward established himself as a regular figure in the Knights’ matchday squad, featuring in twenty-three Betfred Championship matches. A man who head coach James Ford has praised for his attitude to improvement, Stock elaborated on what he believes makes the Knights environment one which gets the best out of him.
“The first thing is the high expectations from not only the coaches but also teammates,” he reasoned. “The knowledge that if you dip below these expectations there is accountability from a number of places spurs us all on.
“The time and effort put in by the collective group who continuously strive to learn and become better is another,” he added, praising the culture at the club. “One of my favourite things about the club is how all of the lads and people at the club put in hard work behind closed doors without any arrogance or ego.”
Stock’s signature sees him become the latest forward signed for 2021, following the likes of Chris Clarkson, Danny Washbrook and new recruit Danny Kirmond in penning terms. As one of the younger members of the Knights’ pack, Stock confirmed that the presence of such experience around him can only be a good thing. “They’ve been there and done it,” he noted. “As a forward, there’s so much subtlety and detail I can learn from talking to them and also training against them.
“Also of huge importance is them being role-models in their approach to the game off the field and their professionalism.”
After a maiden campaign in Knights colours which saw the team break new ground in terms of league position, Stock acknowledged that there were many highlights for him as a player. However, keen to ensure that 2019 remains in the past and keen to focus on more recent memories, the former England Students international pointed to one of the Knights’ Coral Challenge Cup victories in 2020 as a big one for him. “Winning down in London was special for me,” he explained. “It’s a tough place to go and it was a rare occasion my friends and family were able to watch.
Recent weeks have seen excitement at the Knights ratcheted up following the release of the latest images of our new home at the LNER Community Stadium and, like all at the Knights, Stock is eager to get started. “It’s an amazing ground which would be up there among the best in the Championship. It’s an accurate reflection of where the club is going,” he reasoned.
There are, of course, thousands more people enthused ahead of the stadium move and they are, of course, our incredible fans. Everyone at the Knights has been humbled by the gesture of our following with a massive majority of our 2020 members donating their memberships back to the club following this season’s curtailment. Stock is no different and reasoned that the current economic climate makes it all the more impressive. “At a time when many people are struggling financially the support just shows what an amazing supporting community the Knights have,” he explained.
“It truly is an amazing gesture. This really is something that’s appreciated by the players and everyone at the Knights and will be a source of motivation next year.”