Jayden Stockley on his Charlton Athletic loan, dominant air defenses, love for The Office + future at Preston North End – South London News
BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Jayden Stockley has been almost unbeatable in the air since moving to Charlton – but believes that is also down to the service he has received.
The 27-year-old forward, on loan from Preston North End in late January, won 17 aerial duels in Saturday’s 2-0 win at Rochdale.
And Stockley also clocked a record 11 in the previous game against Portsmouth at The Valley.
The Poole-born center-forward also had figures like Sunderland and Bristol Rovers chasing him before he spent the rest of the campaign in SE7.
And the style of play was one of the factors that helped Charlton secure his services.
“I had a conversation with my family about the best destination,” Stockley told the South London Press. “It was about looking at the way the teams play, figuring out which one would get the best out of me and vice versa.
“There must be some quick and creative players around me. I am not blessed with the most rhythm. You want those front players to put balls at you and get away from you.
“I see myself as someone who can get other people to play and set up these players who like to have nice touches around the box. I hope I can give them the ball more often than not so they can do their thing.
“I can then count on putting it in the box, setting up good positions and waiting for delivery.
“I’m six foot two or six foot three so I wouldn’t say I’m an absolute freak. You meet people who are taller.
“But it’s all about the timing and the quality of the ball. One thing I have experienced in the short time I am here is that the quality in me makes me the favorite most of the time. These are not straight balls that you are fighting for the center half for, they are balls placed at angles and runners away from you. So you are in fact favorite because of the quality of the pass.
“It’s a big reason why I’ve won so many balls so far. It’s half my timing and half the quality of the pass I get.
It was a double problem for Dale’s defense on Saturday. Stockley is a grip for any backline. But Addicks manager Lee Bowyer added the added headache of the physique and strength of Chuks Aneke – a muscular forward couple.
“It’s an animal,” Stockley said.
“He can pin someone and he won’t budge for a good half hour if he wants to.” He has that strength where he likes to back up, turn and pull.
“As soon as a center comes in, you expect a half-center or two to come and find you right away. But when it’s me and Chuks in the box, I guess they have to prioritize sometimes – and they don’t know who to talk to.
“It can work in your favor and leave more room when the balls come in.
“Sometimes you have a front screen from a defensive midfielder. If it’s me and Chuks, they have to choose the greater of the two evils.
“We have an abundance of attacking qualities. We can go big man-little man, we can go with two runners – there is so much quality here that we have it all covered.
Stockley is a big fan of The Office and his goal photo used on social media by the Addicks is an imitation of David Brent intertwining his fingers.
“I’m a huge fan – for as long as I can remember. I went to the dark side with the American version of The Office. I like it too, I didn’t think I would.
“Brenty is brilliant, just the drought of the east. When there is a chance to sneak into this celebration, it always takes place.
“I have a very good impression of this club and the goals I will achieve here.
“I put the pressure on myself to score that first goal so I could move on. It’s more of a relief than anything else. I’m not the most relaxed when I score a goal, I can’t contain how excited I am. I hope that will never change. Even without fans there, it’s still great.
Charlton are Stockley’s 13th club – although nine of his 10 loans came during his time at AFC Bournemouth. Eddie Howe gave him his debut at the age of 16 – the Cherries’ second youngest player.
Stockley has scored 49 goals in 98 games for Exeter City, leading to a £ 750,000 transfer to Preston in January 2019. He has played 71 times for Alex Neil’s side but has only made four league starts so far. season.
“Some games that you think you need to play or come and you don’t get the chance,” he said. “We signed another striker [Ched Evans] at the start of the window. I wasn’t already getting the playtime I wanted and knew it could be even more limited.
“My thought was to get out. Preston was great in helping me do this. They don’t want a player to be unhappy and not play.
“It’s not that you will bring a bad atmosphere, but it works for everyone.
“I could have hung out in Preston but I wanted to play football as quickly as possible.
“All the clubs near the high end were showing an interest, but Charlton was a constant. The position in the league was exciting and the people I already knew here were a factor as well. “
Stockley has a contract with Preston until the summer of 2022.
“I think this is a loan to prove myself in the future,” he said. “It’s to look in the long term – I’m going now.
“That’s why I picked Charlton as an absolutely great option. I came here with longevity in mind.
“Preston is my club and I guess this summer we’ll talk and understand a little more about the situation about what’s going to happen.
“My role now is to impress everyone at Charlton and show what kind of player I am.
“It’s almost nice to support each other for six months. I desperately needed this chance and to find myself at a club as big as Charlton, I feel very lucky to have this opportunity.
Stockley lost in the playoffs while on the Exeter books.
“I was a young boy from the outskirts in Bournemouth and watched them rise through the ranks. I had a burning desire to be in the mix for one.
“A promotion here would be huge for me and for Charlton to be back somewhere close to where they belong.
“It’s all about momentum. You look at the table when you’re in that position – and you look at the chance to put in four or five straight wins. It elevates you massively.
“It’s easy to say about a run, it’s only when you’re there that you feel that little bit of belief. It helps at the end of the trading season.