Preston North End
Rushden & Diamonds
Kingstonian, Aylesbury United, Enfield, Harlow Town, Wycombe Wanderers, Barnet, Gillingham, QPR
6th, npower League 2 (2010/1)
R4 (2010/1, 2011/2, 2013/4)
Graham Westley arrived in controversial circumstances in February 2003, having only just led Farnborough to the third round of the FA Cup where they took on Arsenal. As chairman/manager of Farnborough Town, his defection to Stevenage Borough was bound to cause problems in relinquishing control at Cherrywood Road, and the transition of power in that respect wasn't necessarily smooth.
When Westley arrived at Boro', he inherited a side looking certs for relegation with Boro' lying rock bottom one month prior to his arrival which spelt the end of Wayne Turner's reign at the club. Bringing seven players with him from Farnborough only heightened animosity towards Stevenage, but Westley's job to keep Boro' in the Conference was the only thing he focused upon, and he delivered. By the end of the season, Boro' were comfortably mid-table, thanks mainly to a record-equalling six wins on the bounce in March.
After finishing 8th in his first full season in charge, he almost took Boro' into the Football League during the 2004/5. Only Carlisle United were to deny Westley a chance to lead Stevenage Borough into the Football League in a heartbreaking playoff final defeat. However, failure to reach the playoffs in the 2005/6 season meant that Westley didn't fulfil ambitions of league football within three years at the club. In the summer of 2006, Westley's contract was not renewed.
In the summer of 2008, however, Westley was reappointed as manager at Broadhall Way. After the departure of Peter Taylor following his brief stint, Boro' moved to hire someone who could 'hit the ground running' in the Blue Square Premier. His arrival heralded a flurry of new signings and the prospect of what was an intriguing second spell at the club he so nearly took to promotion in 2005. He nearly made it; Boro' crashing out of the 2009 playoffs after extra time. But he did lead the team to the 2009 FA Trophy - Boro's second Trophy win in three years.
In 2010, Westley ensured his name would be permanently recorded in the history books at Broadhall Way after delivering the ultimate goal of Football League action in 2010 with a superb charge to the Blue Square Premier title. He oversaw the club's rise through League Two in 2010/1 - a season that included the defeat of Newcastle in the FA Cup - and had Boro' in the League One playoff places midway through 2011/2. However, Preston North End came calling in early 2012 and Graham Westley moved onto a fresh challenge after making so much history at the Lamex.
But that wasn't to be the end of his association with Stevenage. After being relieved of managerial duties at Deepdale, Westley made his return to Boro' in March 2013 to replace Gary Smith. After the success he led the club to in his second stint at The Lamex, the challenge was to make that happen once again - and if there was ever a man who you would think able to step up to the challenge, it'd be Graham.