Position: Left Full-Back/Centre-Back
Age: 27 *
At Club Since: February 2014
Total Club League Appearances (Goals): 88(3) *
One of the club’s longest-serving players and generally a reliable performer whenever called upon, Stokes probably relied on the shortcomings of Ryan Haynes to have played as many games as he did last season, offering stability versus the greater dynamism but inconsistency that Haynes showed for us. Stokes is clearly a player with his limitations, particularly in his reluctance to put crosses into the box, but also against pacey wide players, although he can be relied upon generally to provide defensive stability for the team when the need is to keep things tight at the back.
The Stokes-Haynes battle for left-back has continued for some time now without ever really resolving itself, and it feels like it may soon do over the course of this season. Neither of the two has particularly made the position their own and the feeling you get with Stokes is that he’s currently holding the position down for someone else – whether that’s Haynes finally nailing down that spot or bringing in someone new – rather than as a longer-term option. Having already proven himself as a steady performer at League One level, we at least know that Stokes will be a useful option for this season.
* As of 04/06/2018