How will the Iron recover from last season's relegation from League 1?
After a disappointing season in League 1 in 2012/13, which culminated in relegation, Brian Laws will be hoping to lead Scunthorpe back to the third tier of English football. To find out when we'll be facing the Iron, visit the official website on June 19th.
It was in 2005 that the good times began to arrive at Glanford Park with the club earning a place in League 1 after finishing runners up to Yeovil Town. The next year saw the club finish in mid-table, before they launched an assault on the Championship in 2007 under Brian Laws, and then Nigel Adkins, as Scunthorpe romped to the title, finishing with 91 points. Relegation back to League 1 was confirmed the following season. 2008/09 saw the Iron visit Wembley twice, beating Millwall 3-2 in the League 1 play-off Final and the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final, where the club were defeated by Luton Town. The next season saw Scunthorpe survive by a single point but the 2010/11 campaign saw relegation confirmed with the Lincolnshire side finishing bottom of the table. 2011/12 saw consolidation in League 1 before last season’s relegation.
Brian Laws is back in his third spell in charge of Scunthorpe United. The 51-year-old had a period as boss of the Iron from 1997 to 2004, when the club sacked him, before being reinstated three weeks later. During his first spell at Glanford Park, he won the Division Three play-offs and finished League 2 runners up in 2004/05. He did leave in 2006 to take up a similar position at Sheffield Wednesday. After three seasons at Hilsborough, Laws crossed the Pennines to take up the role as Burnley manager in January 2010. Burnley were relegated from the Premier League that season, with Laws parting company with the Clarets in December that year. He returned to Glanford Park in October 2012 following Alan Knill’s dismissal. As a player, Laws appeared for the likes of Huddersfield Town, Middlesbrough, Burnley and Nottingham Forest, where he played over 150 times.
Hometown boy Sam Slocombe is highly likely to be donning the gloves again this season. The 24-year-old has been with the Iron since 2008 and was a regular until the final couple of months of last season. Welsh international right back Christain Ribeiro is likely to be in defence along with David Mirfin, Eddie Nolan and Callum Kennedy. Midfield options for Brian Laws include the highly rated Mark Duffy and ex-Huddersfield Town player Michael Collins. Up front, the much-travelled veteran, Chris Iwelumo, should score goals in 2013/14. The 34-year-old has previously had spells with Wolves, Charlton Athletic, Burnley and Watford amongst others and has worked with Brian Laws before.
The arrival of Mike Grella last summer had Iron fans impressed with Alan Knill’s capture. However, it didn’t work out for Grella, scoring twice in 29 appearances in all competitions. This time around, the 26-year-old former Leeds United striker will look to hit 20+ goals as his side look for an instance response following last season’s relegation. The New Yorker has previously had loan spells at Bury, Carlisle United, Swindon Town and Brentford, prior to his move to Glanford Park.
Despite many believing Scunthorpe would have a good campaign, 2012/13 proved to be a disastrous one for the club. It didn’t start off well, losing 3-0 on the opening day to newly promoted Crawley Town. This was the start of a run that saw the club lose six games consecutively. The Iron won 13 games all season and despite beating Swindon Town 3-1 on the last day, fell through the trapdoor due to Colchester United’s 2-0 win at Carlisle United.
Jimmy Ryan has already moved on to pastures new by joining fellow League 2 side Chesterfield. Brian Laws released Paul Reid, Damien Mozika, Andy Barcham, Karl Hawley, Akpo Sodje, Robbie Gibbons and Josh Walker following the club’s relegation. Incoming, have been big striker Chris Iwelumo and former Hull City left back, Andy Dawson.
BLUES vs. SCUNTHORPE UNITED:
The last time the two clubs met was in 2008/09.
Blues 2-0 Scunthorpe United
Blues ran out comfortable winners in February 2009 thanks to goals from Theo Robinson and Alan McCormack in the 54th and 87th minute respectively.
Blues: Mildenhall, Clarke, Sankofa, Barrett, Dervite, McCormack, Grant (Francis, 75), Moussa, Robinson (Scannell, 90), Christophe, Laurent (Barnard, 26)
Unused: Joyce, Betsy
Scunthorpe United 1-1 Blues
Paul Hayes’ 79th minute penalty snatched victory away from Blues after Adam Barrett had put us ahead in the 47th minute.
Blues: Federici, Sankofa, Clarke, Barrett, Francis, Robson-Kanu, Sawyer (McCormack, 74), Betsy, Christophe, Revell (Laurent, 85), Barnard (Walker, 61)
Unused: Grant, Scannell
Scunthorpe United are 3/1 to win promotion this coming season.