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Club News


29 May 2014

United defender Niall Canavan has expressed his delight and excitement about signing a new two-year deal.

The 23-year-old will remain with the Iron until the end of the 2015/16 season after he signed a new contract.

Canavan, who is a product of the Iron’s academy, only missed two games through injury last season.

Speaking to The Iron Player about signing his new contract he said: “I'm delighted to have signed a new two year contract with the Iron.

“It keeps me at the club for the next couple of years and that is a good bit of security for me."

“Hopefully next season will be another exciting period for the club and the team that is going to be put out there next season,” the United defender continued.

“It was never really a tough decision to resign for the club. When I was asked about my future at the club by a number of people I always said I didn't have a reason to leave.

“I was always keen to try and get a deal sorted at the club as quick as I could.”

Canavan added: “There was a bit of speculation about other things, I was only ever talking to Scunthorpe and I am just glad to get the deal completed and signed.”

There had been quite a bit of speculation in the local press that the former United trainee was to join Championship outfit Sheffield Wednesday next season instead of resigning for Russ Wilcox’s side.

“There was never any truth in the matter about me joining Sheffield Wednesday that I am aware of,” the defender explained.

“I don’t know where that has come from or who started it but whoever they are has done very well to stir things up as a lot of people took up on it."

He added: “Because of that I would like to say congratulations to that person who started the rumour.”

The reliable centre-half has formed a solid partnership alongside David Mirfin over the past couple of seasons and he is excited about the possible challenges the pair will come up against next season.

Canavan said: “Hopefully we can carry on next season as we have done this season.

“I think we will have a good solid base to work from and that is something that has helped us this season. I don’t just mean me and Dave there but it has also helped all the other lads in front of us."

“I have been speaking to Dave regularly through the summer and he was eager for me to get my deal completed,” Canavan explained.

“He actually got a little bit worried because I agreed the deal towards the back end of last week.

“He then texted me on Wednesday a little concerned that something had come up at the weekend but it hadn't.

“There were just other things that were happening this week and today was the first time we’d been able to get down and sign the deal.”

The United centre-half added: “I’m looking forward to playing alongside Dave again this season and hopefully we will be able to have a good partnership again next season.”

Achieving promotion back to League One at the first attempt for the Iron was a big achievement and Canavan, who made 48 starts in all competitions, was a key, integral part of that promotion winning side.

The dependable centre-half, who was capped four times by the Republic of Ireland under 21's, scored four goals for United last season was not concerned about getting his deal signed up. Despite it taking almost a week to sign his contract after agreeing to it.

“I think with the bank holiday earlier this week and with people being out of their office Thursday was the right day to do things," he said.

“We all needed to make sure that the paper work was correct."

“The last little bit has been checked so now it has all been signed off,” he said.

“David was busy sorting out Terry Hawkridge’s new contract – I let him go before me – and it is all done now so that is all that matters really.”

It was only two years since the Iron defender last plied his trade in the third tier of English football and the Leeds born defender feels the team this time around will be better equipped to deal with the challenges that lie ahead.

“Everyone keeps saying that there is a lot more football played in League One and I think that will suit us a lot more,” he explained.

“When we played more football last season I would have to say that is probably the best that we played.

“So if that is the case, the league will suit us a lot more and I think it has been said already that it is quite a local league."

“There won’t be as much travelling for the fans so hopefully we’ll be able to give them some exciting times,” Canavan continued.

“Personally I think I will be more equipped to play in League One next season.

“I have had a steady run in the team this season and played all but two games, which was a massive benefit to me.

“I am going back into that league with a lot more knowledge, confidence and experience about myself and the game.

He added: “Hopefully, I will go back a much better player.”

With less miles on the clock for the Iron to travel next season – just over 1,500 in total – that could mean less over night stops for the players and fans that travel to every away game.

However, Canavan says that could work in two different ways for them as they could still travel down earlier to some fixtures.

He said: “It all depends on how Russ wants to play it.

“He might want to do some overnight stops for some of the matches even though they are relatively short.

“It is good to have a lot of local games.”

See much more from Niall Canavan on The Iron Player.

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