One of the surprise packages of Spartans’ pre-season has undoubtedly been the form of new signing Tom Berj. Following the poor 1-3 defeat in their opening friendly at Ashington, local rivals Gateshead made the trip to Croft Park seemingly expecting to roll over a youthful Spartans side. In reality Tommy Cassidy’s men performed very well on the day and really can count themselves unfortunate to not come away with a win. One of the reasons for the improvement was former Sunderland RCA midfielder Berj. His all action style and whole-hearted attitude has made him a popular acquisition among the Croft Park faithful. His pre-season performances have won praise from manager Cassidy and senior players Craig Farrell and Wayne Buchanan.
Ahead of his debut season with Spartans, Berj feels he is getting fitter all the time and wants to show that his style is here to stay. He said “I like to play my own game and sometimes that means going in where it hurts. I’m looking forward to this season and I’m feeling fitter through pre-season, I just can’t wait to get started.”
With a massive turnaround in players throughout pre-season it has been speculated by some outside the club that this season may be a transitional one for Spartans but Berj says that despite the new look to the Spartans squad, the team spirit is excellent. He explained “There’s a great team spirit, they are all good lads, really good lads. All the new lads who have come in have been made to feel welcome and everyone is in it together”.
Maybe the best indication of Berj’s attitude was his answer to being asked how he felt about joining Spartans. “It’s a great club and I’m absolutely buzzing to be here, I just want the season to start now” he declared. Berj will get another chance to show what he can do when Northern League side Shildon travel to Croft Park on Wednesday night. Don’t forget admission to the game is FREE.