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2013/14 REVIEW: SUMMER STRENGTHENING

19 May 2014

United made it to double figures for new signings ahead of the 2013/14 season, bringing in a fresh entourage of playing staff following their relegation from League One.

The Iron began their summer quickly, making their first signing following the close of the season, with Andy Dawson returning to the club following his four-and-a-half-year stay at the club between 1998 and 2003. A ten year spell at Hull City sandwiched his return to Glanford Park, with the full back agreeing to sign on May 30 on a one year player/coach deal with a further year option.

United’s second signing saw Chris Iwelumo drop from the Championship with Watford to join Scunthorpe on a free transfer. The well-travelled Scotsman made the Iron his 17th different team in his eighteenth professional season.

A day later and there were yet more signings coming into the football club, with Gainsborough duo Terry Hawkridge and Luke Waterfall following Chairman Peter Swann to Glanford Park. Hawkridge arrived on a one year deal with a further year in the club’s favour – a move which also sees the Iron face Carlton Town in pre-season going into the 2014/15 season, while Waterfall rejoined the league after a youth career with Tranmere Rovers.

After a sudden influx of new signings, the incomings went quiet for almost three weeks before another was made – this time in the form of Andy Welsh from Carlisle United. He signed a one year with a further year falling in the club’s favour.

There were to be two outgoings before Scunthorpe signed another player, with Mike Grella leaving the club by mutual consent, while Callum Kennedy also did the same, later signing for League Two rivals AFC Wimbledon.

However, on the day that Kennedy departed, United welcomed back a promotion hero in Matt Sparrow, with the midfielder returning to the club he had already clocked almost 400 appearances for having spent 11 years previously at the club as a professional. Sparrow was given a two year deal with a further year option; again in the club’s favour. Little did he know that nine months later, he would once again net the goal which would effectively seal promotion.

The speculation over Mark Duffy’s future at the football club was under much scrutiny with a whole host of clubs looking to acquire his services. His stay with the Iron did come to an end on July 13, with him signing a three year contract with Doncaster Rovers. He departed United for an undisclosed fee.

The start of pre-season brought more opportunities for signings, with Etienne Esajas coming in against Brigg Town and subsequently scoring a first half hat-trick. That was effectively enough for him to earn a deal, signing a one year contract in mid-July after a year out of football.

Three days later, manager Brian Laws weaved more of his magic, bringing in the man who earned the majority of the end of season awards; Sean McAllister. The midfield man was unattached following his release from Scottish side Cowdenbeath and was given a one year deal.

Another pre-season game, this time against Frickley, gave Laws and his coaching staff the opportunity to look at strikers ahead of the new season. The game saw Craig Fagan, Craig Beattie, Sam Winnall and Deon Burton play in the game, with only the latter two earning contracts. Winnall and Burton continued to thrive in successive pre-season matches and arguably ended up at the right signings for the club. Chris Hogg, the former Hibernian captain, also featured in the Frickley game, but wasn’t offered a deal. He confirmed his professional retirement in January 2014 after being without a club, although a move to Needham Market in the same month continued his work on the pitch.

Burton, fresh from promotion from League Two with Gillingham, signed a one year deal, while Sam Winnall received the same deal with an addition of a one year option in the club’s favour.

Scunthorpe also began the season by bringing Jordan Clark in one loan from Barnsley, while Jimmy Spencer and Cliff Byrne soon followed from Huddersfield and Oldham respectively.

Transfers Summary:
IN:
Andy Dawson (Hull City, free transfer – 30/05/13 – one year plus one year option), Chris Iwelumo (Watford, free transfer – 03/06/13 – one year), Terry Hawkridge (Gainsborough Trinity, undisclosed fee – 04/06/13 – one year plus one year option in club’s favour), Luke Waterfall (Gainsborough Trinity, undisclosed fee – 04/06/13 – one year), Andy Welsh (Carlisle United, free transfer – 24/06/13 – one year plus one year option in club’s favour), Matt Sparrow (unattached – 04/07/13 – two years plus one year option in club’s favour), Etienne Esajas (unattached – 16/07/13 – one year), Sean McAllister (unattached – 19/07/13 – one year), Deon Burton (unattached – 22/07/13 – one year), Sam Winnall (unattached – 29/07/13 – one year deal plus one year option).

Paul Hayes (unattached – 17/12/13 (contract began 01/01/14) – until end of the season), Andrew Boyce (Lincoln City, undisclosed – 06/01/14 – 18 months), Paddy Madden (Yeovil Town, undisclosed – 10/01/14 – 30 months), David Syers (Doncaster Rovers, undisclosed – 10/01/14 – 30 months), Marcus Williams (Sheffield United, free transfer – 10/01/14 – 18 months), Gary McSheffrey (unattached – 14/01/14 – until end of the season).

OPTIONS TAKEN: Sam Slocombe (07/11/13) extending contract until 30/06/15.

LOANS IN: Jordan Clark (Barnsley; 02/08/13-07/09/13), Jimmy Spencer (Huddersfield Town; 22/08/13-05/01/14), Cliff Byrne (Oldham Athletic; 12/09/13-22/12/13), David Syers (04/10/13-02/11/13, 05/11/13-03/01/14), Reuben Noble-Lazarus (Barnsley; 12/11/13-01/01/14), Andrew Boyce (22/11/13-05/01/14), Marcus Williams (Sheffield United; 28/11/13-01/01/14), James Alabi (11/03/14-07/04/14).

LOANS OUT: Connor Jennings (Macclesfield Town; 24/07/13-15/12/13), Matt Godden (Dartford; 08/10/13-17/12/13), Jamie Wootton (Gainsborough Trinity; 15/11/13-27/12/13, 01/02/14-31/05/14), Callum Howe (Gainsborough Trinity; 22/11/13-31/05/14), George Grayson (Bradford Park Avenue; 06/12/13-06/01/14), George Grayson (Frickley Athletic; 24/01/14-24/02/14), Michael Collins (AFC Wimbledon; 20/02/14-03/04/14), Matt Godden (Tamworth; 20/02/14-10/04/14), Connor Jennings (Grimsby Town; 28/02/14-31/05/14), Curtis Bateson (Gainsborough Trinity; 07/03/14-31/05/14), Andrew Boyce (Grimsby Town; 10/03/14-31/05/14), Luke Hornsey (Frickley Athletic; 21/03/14-21/04/14).

OUT: Mike Grella (Viborg FF, contract cancelled by mutual consent – 01/07/13), Callum Kennedy (AFC Wimbledon, contract cancelled by mutual consent – 04/07/13, Mark Duffy (Doncaster Rovers, undisclosed fee – 13/07/13 – three years), Chris Iwelumo (St Johnstone, contract cancelled by mututal consent – 16/01/14).

RELEASED (at the end of 2012/13): Josh Walker, Paul Reid, Damien Mozika, Akpo Sodje, Andy Barcham, Robbie Gibbons, Karl Hawley, Tom Newey, Jimmy Ryan.

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