Sam Winnall’s phenomenal first season with the Iron has seen him become the top goalscorer in League Two and has seen him placed in the PFA team of the year.Scoring 23 league goals has earned him, almost certainly, the golden boot for League Two.
He is six goals ahead of his nearest rival, Scott Hogan at Rochdale, and with only one game remaining only a miracle can prevent Scunthorpe’s number 29 from being crowned the top goal scorer in the division.
Winnall appreciates just how impressive his goal scoring has been this season.
He said: “It’s a massive achievement. Strikers are always judged on their goals and thankfully this year I’ve been in good form.
“Chances haven’t been few and far between, I’ve had lots of chances to score goals.
"I’ve always believed in myself as a goal scorer and if I get game time I’ll score. I’ve played a lot of games and I’d like to think I’ve rewarded the side.”
To go alongside this achievement, Winnall has also made it into the PFA team of the year. The team is voted for by the players in League Two so to receive the plaudits from his fellow professionals is something he is very proud of.
He said: “It was an honour to be selected. For it to be voted by the players I’ve played against all year is testament to how well I think I’ve done.
"It was a fantastic night and a fantastic occasion. It’s a massive achievement for anybody to be selected for the team of the year and something I’ll cherish for the rest of my career.
“To be recognised by my fellow professional’s makes it more special. Thankfully, it’s been me that’s been recognised but it could have been many of the lads that have been in the squad this year.”
The striker believes that his manager Russ Wilcox, who broke the world record for unbeaten games as a new manager this season, has played a key role in helping him achieve such a fantastic goal scoring season.
When has asked how vital Wilcox has been for him personally, Winnall said, “He’s been massive! He often takes me to one side to tell me what I can do better and it’s a credit to his man management skills because I’ve been so confident all year and he’s allowed me to believe in myself with the freedom on the pitch and I’d like to think I’ve rewarded him with my goals for the team.”
He also believes that his Scunthorpe United team mates deserve just as many plaudits as he is getting.
When asked if he was the main reason as to why the Iron have been promoted he laughs and says: “I’ve been a reason. Everyone’s just as important as each other; we’ve got a squad of really good players.”
“A lot of my game relies on service. I’m not going to score 30 yard goals every game, it’s about me being in the right place at the right time.
"That relies on delivery and service and I’ve been getting service from all angles.
“We’ve had a bit of scrutiny with certain results but if you look at how consistent we’ve been as a team over the course of the season, it’s undeniable that we deserve to be in the top three.”
“It’s been great to be in a side that’s done so well because it makes my job a lot easier.”
With the striker scoring so many important goals in Scunthorpe’s promotion season it may be hard for some people to choose a favourite out of the bunch.
Winnall, however, knows exactly which one he cherishes the most.
He stated: “My favourite goal was my first, which was against Mansfield. It was on my debut, in front of a big crowd and I wanted to show the fans what I was about straight away.”
The goal against Mansfield, which helped the Iron secure a 2-0 opening day victory, was a sign of things to come for the Glanford Park faithful as Winnall continued his scoring form right through the season.
He said: “From the first game, against Mansfield, I’ve just believed in myself and been confident. As the season grew longer it was just a matter of keeping that belief and staying confident.
"Thankfully the goals have kept rolling in. I’d like to carry that onto next season and the rest of my career.
“I believed that if I played games I would score goals and be in with a shout (of winning the golden boot).”
With the hottest striker in League Two capping his season with a place in the PFA team of the year, the League Two golden boot and promotion to League One the question for Winnall is can he repeat his success next season?
Winnall’s confident response was: “I’d like to think so!”
The Iron supporters definitely hope so and with the form the striker has shown this season there are many that believe Sam Winnall has the potential to be a stand out striker next season in League One for Scunthorpe United.
See much more from Sam Winnall, Russ Wilcox and Dave Syers on The Iron Player.