Match day one starts this Saturday at Glanford Park against the newly relegated Scunthorpe United. Led my manager Nigel Adkins, like any club tumbling to a lower division, they will be anxious to set the course right immediately in their promotion efforts.
Since relegated, Scunthorpe has suffered a few key losses on its roster, notably midfielder Jim Goodwin but managed to retain 'keeper Joe Murphy, who had been rumoured to be headed out. Of their most notable signings is twenty year-old Striker Gary Hooper coming in from Southend United. He possesses a keen touch and with the club challenged to find the back of the net last season, he might be the most important addition. Another of those signings which didn't get a lot of publicity is twenty year-old defender Michael Lea. He is very able Footballer who had showed himself quite well with Manchester United reserves but was let go this summer and Scunthorpe wisely added him to their club. As he gets acclimated he could go a long way to solving their porous defensive lapses of last season that saw they out of the Championship Level.
Their pre-season was an up and down sort-of affair with a draw and victories and losses even at two. They closed the pre-season with a solid romp over Grimsby Town 4-0 but will have key match fitness decisions on Garry Thompson, Ben May, Gary Hooper and one of their most important offensive threats, Striker Grant McCann. While Gary Hooper and Grant McCann are looking fully fit, the other two could make this a very challenging lineup for Nigel Adkins.
Part two of the preview will continue with a look at Leeds in preparation this week as they look to gain a solid three points in week 1.