Sunday, 9 August 2015

Luke Williams out for the foreseeable future after Burton loss



Saturday was not quite the opening day magic you hope for all Summer.

In fact, it was quite demoralising. But you cannot lay the blame solely on the players and manager, we were let down by a quite frankly inept referee too - he wouldn't have been up to standard refereeing a Sunday football match.

The referee's are there to maintain player safety throughout a match, amongst other things. So why, when someone went through Luke Williams so hard that it forced him off on a stretcher - were there no repercussions for that player? Why?

I knew as soon as Williams went down it was bad - I feared the worst, and I felt his pain and disappointment too. You work your socks off in pre-season ready for the start of the league and then bam - one idiotic challenge and you won't kick a ball again for months.

Just after the Williams injury, another Burton player went through the back of Scotty Laird too - still no whistle. Shocking.

It wasn't just the injury decision that let the ref down on the day. Countless petty fouls were given to our opposition, but when the same were on our end of the stick - nothing.

But I will stop my moaning about the officials now, because the other fact is we weren't quite up to it on Saturday.

Over 1000 Iron fans travelled ready to watch a team who had gone unbeaten in pre-season, and played very well on occasions too.

Sadly, they would witness a 2-1 loss which was backed in the football predictions by the bookies which was marred by the injury to Williams and the bizarre moment when Luke Daniels decided to elbow Mark Duffy in the face.

Yes, the referee did get one thing right - Daniels had to go. I knew he was a goner, when the ref hadn't even began talking to the linesman and Anyon was already stripped off ready to come on.

But let's face it, that was one game - and it does not define our season whatsoever. Just because Burton won, it doesn't mean they will have a successful season. Just like our loss doesn't mean we will definitely be in a relegation scrap under Robins!

Mark Robins is not on borrowed time and those calling for his head need to realise how silly their calls are. Only one game in lads.

We have a chance to put on a good show on Tuesday in the Capital One cup against Barnsley, before Crewe come to Glanford Park on Saturday.

Get behind the boys, and forget what was a bad day at the office.

Up the Iron.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

We are only a week away from football being back!

The venue for our League One opener
The Iron start their League One campaign on Saturday 8th August with a difficult trip to League Two Champions Burton Albion.

Burton had flirted with promotion to League One for a number of years, but last season they finally achieved their goal under the stewardship of former Chelsea star Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

Without looking at our opposition, we must first concentrate on ourselves – and let’s face it, it’s been a pretty great pre season so far.

1-1 draws with Middlesbrough and Bolton from the Championship, and a 4-2 victory over Sheffield Wednesday from the same division, show we are capable of holding our own with teams above our level.

Gainsborough were the first team we faced in pre season, and a professional performance saw us win 3-0 that day, before we played Hartlepool upon return from the teams training over in Marbella – and that match finished 4-0 to ourselves.

We are in great form going into the season, and that has to play a big part when we kick the first ball of the 2015/16 season.

United are not the bookies favourites going into the game. Burton are 6/4 for the win, whilst we are 13/8. The draw is 9/4.

Also a week away is the start of the Premier League season, and although I’m not actually a fully-fledged fan of any team up there (I’d pick the Hammers if I was though), I find myself extremely excited for the start of that too.

Chelsea are the bookies pre season favourites to win the title for the second year running, but I can see it being a much tighter league this time around.

Manchester United have bought well, and could certainly be much more of a force than they have been in the last couple of years. Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Matteo Darmian are the big name arrivals so far – and they could certainly help United in their first year back in the Champions League since Fergie left.

Arsenal have made just the one addition so far, but it’s been a great one. Petr Cech joined from Chelsea, and he’s won literally just about everything with them – his experience and ability will certainly be something to benefit the Gunners, but they need more through the door to persuade punters to back them for the title.

Manchester City have spent big, but brought in some real quality. Raheem Sterling is still young and is only going to get better, and although £50 million was a tad more than I’d of priced Sterling at, he is sure to be a big player for them over the coming years. Can they win the league? Definitely, but for me the key is whether they can keep Sergio Aguero fit throughout the season.


Friday, 10 July 2015

Plenty of signings made so far, and the optimism is more than welcoming

New signings Luke Williams celebrates his goal at Peterborough last season
So far the Iron have made a total of eight new summer signings, and the calibre of the new boys has been extremely impressive.

Stephen Dawson, Scott Laird, Scott Wiseman, Jack King, Tom Hopper, Isaac Assenso, Charlie Goode and Luke Williams are the new faces thus far, with more expected to be welcomed before the start of the new League One season in 29 days time.

The signing of Hopper was always going divide opinion after the striker was caught up in sex tape scandal following the end of last season. No-one can condone what Hopper did, but he publicly apologised. That apology didn't save his Leicester City career, and he was snapped up by the Iron last month on a free.
Thankfully, the majority of United fans seemed to take the signing well, and were more keen to focus on the footballing ability that Hopper most definitely possesses. Everyone deserves a second chance, and the Iron faithful seem more than willing to give Hopper that.

Dawson, Laird, Wiseman and King are superb defence minded signings. Each of them will bring something wonderful individually to the table. It's no secret that our leaky defence let us down time after time last year, and these signings will help shore up the gaps - and make us a much harder team to beat. It's exactly what we needed to address, and well done to Mark Robins and Peter Swann for sorting that out early on in the summer break.

Assenso and Goode were brought in as youngsters who we will look to develop, but there is absolutely nothing to suggest that both players couldn't get themselves in the first team squad picture should they enjoy a successful pre-season with the club. Certainly two players I am looking forward to seeing progress in the coming years.

Finally, last week we announced the signing of Luke Williams from Middlesborough on a permanent deal. This signing really got United fans excited, and rightly so.
Luke was fantastic for us on loan last season, and should we keep him fit, his creativity can carve open oppositions defences time and time again. He's a wonderful acquisition, and one who will hopefully bring the Iron many goals and assists next season.

So are we being taken seriously by the bookies? Most bookmakers currently price the Iron at around 28/1 to win the title next year, and that may be a price worth taking a punt on.

Our signings so far have been superb, and with more expected a bet on us could bring you some cash - and if we lead the league half way through the season, you could always cash out and take your profit should you think we may throw away the lead we had.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Scunthorpe United; how did they get here?


We like to think that we are all Scunthorpe United’s number one fan, but how much do you really know about Scunthorpe United? How did they begin? What were their highs and lows? We answer all these questions below with a brief overview of Scunthorpe United’s history.

Scunthorpe United first formed in 1899 after merging with another local football team. A year later they joined forces with rivals Lindsey United to strengthen their team. This proved successful as they gained a place in the Midland League in 1912.

The teams first major title wins came in 1927 when they first won the Championship and again in 1939. Also since 1921 they repeatedly applied to be accepted into the Football league but were rejected several times.

Scunthorpe United impressed in 1958 after winning the Division Three North Championship by seven clear points ahead of Accrington Stanley. This saw them get promoted to Division Two. From 1961 to 1962 Schunthorpe United were top of the scoreboard but they failed to clinch the title. Many blamed the departure of their top goal scorer Barrie Thomas for the reason that they finished 4th. Despite not winning, it was their record-breaking league position.

Their impressive results didn’t last long and they were relegated to Division Three just 1 season later. The following years saw Scunthorpe United struggle but they bounced back in 1972 when they beat Lincoln City and gained a promotion to Division Three again.

The club saw a major change in 1988 when the Old Show Ground was demolished in favour of a large supermarket development. It wasn’t all doom and gloom though; they switched to Glantford Park, which was a new purpose built stadium.

In 1992 Schunthorpe made it down to a penalty shoot-out against Blackpool at Wembley. Players Jason White and Graham Alexander both missed penalties, denying the team a much-desired promotion. The sadness was short lived as they again made it to Wembley in 1999 and secured a win gaining them a place in Division Two!

2004 was a shaky season both on and off the pitch. They narrowly avoid relegation after a difficult season. Team manager Brian Laws also left the club briefly before being re-appointed after chairman Steve Wharton returned.

After a turbulent season in 2005, things started to look up for Scunthorpe United. They gained an impressive second place that saw them get a promotion into League 1! They finished 12th place in League 1 in 2006. This was a great achievement, which saw them end a run of 49 years ending in the bottom of a division.

The season of 2007 was one of great changes. Manager Brian Laws left the club after a decade. New appointed manager Nigel Adkins led the team to break a series of new records and ultimately won the League 1 championship with a total of 91 points. If you backed them to win on Marathonbet that year, you would have received a great payout!

During 2008 to 2009, Scunthorpe United were relegated and then gained a place again in the Championship League. They successfully got promoted at their first attempt and they also managed to reach the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final but despite their best efforts they lost 3-2 to Luton.

After an impressive campaign in the 2008/2009 season, their luck came to a holt when they were again relegated due to lack of goals being scored and too many goals being conceded.
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More recently, in the 2013/2014 season the team bounded back when they guaranteed themselves a promotion after placing 2nd in League 2. The same season they created an impressive team record of 28 games unbeaten.

Scunthorpe United finished 16th in the 2014/2015 season in League 1 just after their new stadium received the go ahead!

With lots of highs and lows, Scunthorpe United really does have a great history that has made the club what it is today. So now you know all the details, why not visit MarathonBet UK and put your money on their next game!
 




Friday, 22 May 2015

Stephen Dawson signs on with the Iron

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Dawson signs on
United made their first summer signing on Wednesday, when it was announced that Stephen Dawson had joined the club on a two-year deal, after turning down a new contract at Rochdale.
The Irish-born midfielder spent last season at Rochdale, and impressed in both games where he faced us - especially during the 3-1 win for Dale in March, a game in which he ran the midfield for the home side.

Dawson was wrongfully arrested in April 2014 for allegedly being involved in a 'major spot-fixing scam, whereby players supposedly took bribes in return for deliberately getting booked.'. 

Since then, the case against Dawson has been dropped, and the midfielder's form with Rochdale began to rise. No doubt that this rise in form, including his wonderful individual displays against the Iron, led to the deal being offered by Mark Robins.

Dawson signs for two years, with the option of a further year lying in the clubs hands. He was offered a new deal at Rochdale, but decided a move to North Lincolnshire was the more attractive option.

Happy with the move, Dawson had this to say when interviewed by the club: 

“Obviously, I’m over the moon, and as soon as I knew the intent of the manager and who he is bringing in and everything that is taking place in the next couple of years in terms of the new stadium and new facilities, it was something I couldn’t turn down."

The only other player news this pre-season so far was goalkeeper Joe Anyon signing a new two-year deal with the club.

Anyon is yet to make a first team appearance, but clearly has impressed Mark Robins in the reserves, and it's a deal that pleased the majority of Iron fans.

If you are planning on placing a bet on the Iron to win the League One title next year, it would be worth taking a look at mybettingsites.co.uk to find the best possible odds.

Once there any more contract extensions, or new player signings - I will report them on the blogs Facebook account.

Until then, Up the Iron!

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Ending the season on a high

You could be the 12th man on Sunday

A season of many ups, and even more downs, is finally drawing to a close. Thankfully, survival was secured last weekend when we took Gillingham down to a 2-1 defeat at Glanford Park, so Sunday's game can be played without the added pressure of playing for League One football next term.

Of course it's not just any normal end of season game. Doncaster Rovers are our rivals, and a rival who have gotten the better of us far too often in recent times. I'm pinning my hopes on Neal Bishop firing the lads up ready to do battle. Something we've severely lacked in recent derbies is guts and determination.

An extra incentive going into the game is a win would actually see us leap frog Donny in the table, leaving us finishing the season in at least 14th position - a pipe dream back in October, when relegation looked a formality. The Iron could mathematically finish as high as 11th, but some serious goal scoring would need to come into play, along with the teams above us losing heavily too. I'll take 14th please Sir.

Donny will probably class their season as a bit of a flop after coming down from the Championship last year, with ambitions of an immediate return amongst the fans and staff alike. They were most recently sat in the play offs at the beginning of March, but an inconsistent run has seen them drop to mid-table with nothing riding on the last game of the season, other than bragging rights over their rivals.

This is the most positive I've felt heading into a derby about my team doing what's needed to get the three points in quite a long time. The pressure that was lifted after securing safety last weekend, added to the fact we've been on a pretty decent run of form, should be enough for me.

The Gillingham game was the last of Theo Robinson's loan spell, as there was a clause in his contract to stop him from facing his parent club on Sunday when he joined us. Whether he's played his final game for the Iron remains to be seen, but after an impressive loan spell, and hardly being first choice at Rovers, you wouldn't bet against us signing him permanently in the summer.

Yesterday it was announced that we have been giving planning permission to begin work on our new 12,000 seater home. Work is expected to begin in July, with the stadium being ready just 12 months later. The only remaining obstacle for the Iron and North Lincolnshire council will be their need to appease the Highway Agency's concerns over access to the ground, and flooding. This will almost certainly be resolved within the next month or so, with the club not looking like they are worrying too much about this - as they've already offered fans who purchase season tickets the chance to have first dibs on their seat when we move in ready for the 2015/16 season.

On that note, the club have released the standard, and early bird prices, for season tickets next season - The Iron's last full season at Glanford Park. The rates are as follows, and go on sale tomorrow:

MAIN STAND/CLUGSTON STAND

EARLY BIRD (PRIOR TO 31/05/2015)

ADULT - £360                              
PER GAME: £15.65 | SAVING PER GAME: £6.34 
SENIORS/18-21/STUDENT - £228      
PER GAME: £9.78 | SAVING PER GAME: £5.08 
UNDER 18 - £150                      
PER GAME: £6.52 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.47 
UNDER 16- £60            
PER GAME: £2.60 | SAVING PER GAME: £3.39 
UNDER 12* - FREE

FROM 01/06/2015
ADULT - £372    
                          
PER GAME: £16.17 | SAVING PER GAME: £5.82 
SENIORS/18-21/STUDENT- £234        
PER GAME: £10.17 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.82 
UNDER 18 - £156                        
PER GAME: £6.78 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.21 
UNDER 16 - £66                       
PER GAME: £2.86 | SAVING PER GAME: £3.13 
UNDER 12* - FREE



BRITCON STAND
EARLY BIRD (PRIOR TO 31/05/2015)
ADULT - £288
                      
PER GAME: £12.52 | SAVING PER GAME: £5.47 
SENIORS/18-21/STUDENT - £192         
PER GAME: £8.34 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.65 
UNDER 18- £114                        
PER GAME: £4.95 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.04 
UNDER 16 - £60                        
PER GAME: £2.60 | SAVING PER GAME: £3.39 
UNDER 12* - FREE                   

FROM 01/06/2015
ADULT - £294   
                           
PER GAME: £12.78 | SAVING PER GAME: £5.21 
SENIORS/18-21/STUDENT - £198         
PER GAME: £8.60 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.39 
UNDER 18 - £120                        
PER GAME: £5.21 | SAVING PER GAME: £3.78 
UNDER 16 - £60                        
PER GAME: £2.86 | SAVING PER GAME: £3.13 
UNDER 12* - FREE                      

*All Under 14’s must be accompanied by an adult to any fixture at Glanford Park.




EXECUTIVE LOUNGE

EARLY BIRD (PRIOR TO 31/05/2015)

ADULT - £510                             
PER GAME: £22.17 | SAVING PER GAME: £7.82 
SENIORS - £378                         
PER GAME: £16.43 | SAVING PER GAME: £6.56 
UNDER 21- £288                        
PER GAME: £12.52 | SAVING PER GAME: £5.47 
UNDER 16 - £192                        
PER GAME: £8.34 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.65 

FROM 01/06/2015
ADULT - £528
                              
PER GAME: £22.95 | SAVING PER GAME: £7.04 
SENIORS - £390                         
PER GAME: £16.95 | SAVING PER GAME: £6.04 
UNDER 21 - £294                        
PER GAME: £12.78 | SAVING PER GAME: £5.21 
UNDER 16 - £198                        
PER GAME: £8.60 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.39 



FAMILY AREA
EARLY BIRD (PRIOR TO 31/05/2015)
ONE ADULT & UP TO TWO UNDER 16'S - £360      
PER GAME: £15.65 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.34 
ONE SENIOR & UP TO TWO UNDER 16'S - £228       
PER GAME: £9.91 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.08 
ADDITIONAL CHILDREN- £60                   
PER GAME: £60 | SAVING PER GAME: £3.39 
SECOND ADULT - £360                                
PER GAME: £15.65 | SAVING PER GAME: £4.34 

FROM 01/06/2015
ONE ADULT & UP TO TWO UNDER 16'S - £372      
PER GAME: £16.17 | SAVING PER GAME: £3.82 
ONE SENIOR & UP TO TWO UNDER 16'S - £234        
PER GAME: £10.17 | SAVING PER GAME: £3.82 
ADDITIONAL CHILDREN - £66                 
PER GAME: £2.86 | SAVING PER GAME: £1.13 
SECOND ADULT - £372                                
PER GAME: £16.17 | SAVING PER GAME: £3.82 

CONCESSIONS:
To qualify for a junior under 12's season ticket, your date of birth must be after 31st August 2003. To purchase a under 16 season ticket you must be born after 31st August 1998. To purchase an under 18 season ticket you must be born between 31st August 1996 and 1st September 1998. To qualify for an 18-21 season ticket you must be born between 1st September 1993 and 31st May 1996. To qualify for an over 65 season ticket you must be born before 31st August 1949, because the senior concession age is changing from 60 to 65. However, if you are already in receipt of a senior season ticket you will be able to continue at the concessionary rate. 

DIRECT DEBIT SCHEME:
This is in six equal payments, starting with your first payment when you make the purchase and then five further payments, starting in June until October. 
Read more at http://www.scunthorpe-united.co.uk/news/article/season-ticket-prices-201516-2431407.aspx#7Ioqy5SGsdRSzz7r.99


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All that's left to say is safe travels to all Scunny fans heading up the M180 on Sunday to Donny, and let's hope the boys do us proud.

Up the Iron!

Monday, 27 April 2015

Paddy Madden - "When a player feels wanted at a team it brings the best out of them"


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Paddy hands me my free ticket for the Orient game
From grassroots football in his native Ireland, to scoring the opening goal at Wembley in a League One play off final just five years later – Paddy Madden has endured a swift rise to English lower league goal scoring fame, and continues to impress at his latest club Scunthorpe United. But it’s not always his on the field exploits that have captured the hearts of fans of the clubs he’s represented.

Madden began his football career playing for schoolboy team WFTA FC in Ireland. It was his impressive goal scoring stats that gained him a move to Bohemian’s of the League of Ireland Premier division. “I was scoring maybe 40-50 goals a season” he said. 
Pat Fenlon the Bohs manager at that time watched Madden frequently, and gave the young player his first professional contract at 18. “It was a good experience, training full time every morning. I went in there and learnt off the likes of Glenn Cronin, Jason Byrne and Neale Fenn – three of the best strikers in the league at that time.”

Madden’s career at Bohs was going well, and after scoring 16 times in 44 appearances in his third year there – Scouts from England were lurking over him. It was Carlisle United who flexed their muscle first, persuading him to join the club in January 2011 on a two-and-a-half-year contract.

Although the expectations were there, injuries were to plight his Carlisle career. A broken metatarsal in the foot was to end his first pre-season with the club, leaving Madden out until late November. By then the team were on a good run, and he found it hard to break into the squad, making substitute appearances here and there. 
With lady luck certainly not blessing him, he ruptured ligaments in his ankle the following pre-season, with the first league game only a week or so away.

After the latest injury setback, he found it even harder to make his mark on the Carlisle first team. A chat with his manager Gregg Abbott led to the two agreeing that he needed to get out and get some valuable game time. After failing to get his break in League One, scoring just two goals in thirty odd appearances, Paddy knows he was lucky to stay at that level. But luck was finally willing to give the man a break, and Yeovil came knocking.
“I knew I could score goals in England, it was just getting my chance. Gary Johnson brought me to Yeovil and I hit the ground running.” Madden said. And that isn’t an understatement in the slightest. 
A run of five goals in his first five games for the Glovers left his parent club wondering where they’d gone wrong.

After nine goals in sixteen appearances, Madden became a permanent Yeovil signing in January 2013. A further thirteen league goals would fire them all the way to the League One play off finals, with a chance for the young man to make his impression in front of the nation at Wembley.
“You know everybody wants to go up automatically, but for me the best way to get promoted is through the play offs.” he said. 

Madden’s opening goal after six minutes of the final helped Yeovil to a 2-1 victory, earning the club the chance to play in England’s second tier for the first time in their history. “It was the best goal of my career so far, and a day I’ll never forget.” he recalls.

Despite missing the first eleven games of that season, Paddy finished with the league’s golden boot, on 22 goals. If anyone had not heard of his name before this season - they knew now.

That impressive goal tally led to an international call up, which Madden claims to be his ‘best feeling to date in football’. “I’m a proud Irish man, so to represent my country was an unbelievable feeling. I came on and did well against Wales so I was called up for the World Cup qualifiers with Sweden and Austria.” he said.
In another cruel twist of fate, an injury sustained in training for Yeovil would rule him out of both games.

A fallout with Gary Johnson meant Madden never got a real chance in the Championship, and was left on the transfer market with January nearing. 

League Two promotion hopefuls Scunthorpe United gave him the opportunity to prove his worth once again when they signed him for an undisclosed fee in the January transfer window of 2014. “My confidence took a bit of knock when they wanted to sell me. I only made four appearances due to a falling out with the manager there. The chairman at Scunthorpe made me feel wanted again.” he said.

Five goals from him helped Scunthorpe as they finished league runners up, with Madden then destined to have another pop at League One football – a league he’d dominated less than 12 months earlier.

A new playing role was devised for Madden when the Iron appointed Mark Robins as manager in October, with him mainly featuring on the wing for the Iron this season. The forward had been backed in at 28/1 to be top scorer in the football betting before the season had begun. This hasn’t stopped the goals from flooding in, with him looking likely to finish as the clubs top scorer this year. “I’ve started 64 or 65 consecutive games for Scunthorpe and it’s been brilliant. When a player feels wanted at a team it brings the best out of them, and even playing out in a wide position I’ve managed to get 16 goals.” he said.

When the writer of this piece found funds a little low around the time of an important League One match, he posted a tweet stating that he was to sell his iPod to be able to watch his beloved Iron. 
Out of nowhere, a tweet back from Paddy himself was received. “I’ll leave you two tickets pal.” I was taken aback by such generosity. I didn’t know Paddy personally, yet he’d chosen to help a stranger out. “My Mum and Dad brought me up well and taught me that kindness costs nothing. When I saw your tweet I knew I could help, so I reached out to give you the ticket.” he told me.

With a mini goal drought over following the 2-0 win over Peterborough, and another added just days later when the Iron crucially beat Crawley 2-1, Paddy will look to finish the season on a high. It’s so unusual to find a footballer as humble and grounded as the Irishman. From helping clubs to promotion – to helping fans make games – Paddy is a model footballer, both on and off the pitch.