By Harley ThorneOver the next few weeks we will be taking a look at some of the sides that we will be taking on next season in SkyBet League One, today it's the turn of Scunthorpe.
Name: Scunthorpe United FC
Nickname(s): The Iron
Stadium: Glanford Park.
Distance: 205 miles from Bristol.
Last season: 7th in League One.
Scunthorpe United will be our first game back in League One, on Saturday 6th August, as we travel the 205 miles up north in search of an opening day three points.
Promoted back to League One from League Two at the first attempt in 2014, The Iron finished seventh in the league last season – failing to make the play-offs by only goal difference to eventual winners Barnsley. They will be hoping they can achieve promotion this coming season, as they push to return to the Championship.
Most recently in England’s second tier back in 2011, they have been promoted twice from League One in the last 10 years – in the 2006-2007 and 2008-2009 seasons. They are therefore well rehearsed with what it takes to get out of this division, and should pose a challenge in our opening day meeting.
The last time we met Scunthorpe was during the 2013-2014 season, their promotion season and our relegation season, where we played out two draws. John Ward’s Bristol Rovers team grabbed an equaliser in the 88th minute of the away game, Steven Gillespie scoring his only goal for the club from a Michael Smith cross.
Our last win against The Iron came in February 2008, as two first half goals up north proved enough to leave with a 2-0 victory – Jo Kuffour and Darryl Duffy with the goals. That result had halted a run of 3 defeats to Scunthorpe –0-3 and 4-0 in the 2004-2005 season making particularly unpleasant reading.
Top scorer Paddy Madden, who played the full 90 minutes in our last meeting, scored an impressive 23 goals last season. The 26 year-old, signed in January 2014 from Yeovil Town for an undisclosed fee, has scored 30 goals over the previous two seasons in League One, after a disappointing five goals in 21 for The Iron after signing. He will be seen as the danger man this coming season, and rightly so.
Manager Graham Alexander, who joined in March 2016, replaced outgoing Mark Robins – who was sacked after a run of only two wins in eight. With the team only six points above the relegation zone, Alexander did a magnificent job in taking them to the brink of the play-offs. A 6-0 win over Swindon ensured he achieved his first home win in style, before they won their final six games in a row!
The clubs’ supporters will therefore be optimistic for the coming season, as Graham Alexander looks to build upon an incredible end of the season.
It is also worth noting that Scunthorpe were, up until recently, recognised as one of only three clubs in the top four divisions of English football to be debt-free. This status changed recently, following a £2 million loan to an outgoing chairman to help maintain ‘some sense of financial stability’ – although to reach the Championship twice whilst retaining a debt-free status should be commended.
Want to be part of the action? Then purchasing your 2016/17 Season Ticket couldn’t be easier
Personal callers are welcome at Pirate Leisure at The Memorial Stadium or at The Supporters Club Shop 199 Two Mile Hill Road Kingswood, BS15 1AZ.
Alternatively Season Tickets can also be purchased over the phone by calling Pirate Leisure on 0117 909 6648 - option 1 (during office hours) or ‘199’ on 0117 961 1772 (during office hours) or online at www.brfctickets.com
Ambulant Disabled, wheelchair users and carers should contact Clare McDonagh directly, either in person or over the phone, on 0117 952 4001.