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Nick Daws reflects on retained list

30 May 2018

Following the conclusion of the 2017-18 campaign, manager Nick Daws’ first job, having been offered the role, was to meet the players and announce his retained list last week.

It was confirmed soon after that six players were to depart Glanford Park following the conclusion of their contracts, with Neal Bishop, Tom Hopper, Andrew Crofts, Luke Williams, Jonathon Margetts and Jack Dyche all leaving the club.

We sat down with Daws, as he spoke to iFollow Iron in an extended interview, which included his thoughts following the decisions made ahead of the 2018-19 season.


ND: It’s always tough. Some of the players, a couple of whom in particular, I’ve worked with for quite a long time and they’ve been absolutely outstanding for me and Andy. From a managerial point of view, you have to embrace everything and you have to make those tough decisions. In having to make that decision really early on, even before we were confirmed (as manager and assistant manager) was perfect. It gave me a full insight into what I’m capable of doing and that’s making those hard decisions.

They all go with my greatest of thanks, not only for their time with me, but also previously with Graham (Alexander) and with Mark (Robins) and I wish them all the best.


ND: The two players in particular - Neal Bishop has been with us since I joined the club and Tom Hopper came in not long after, initially on loan. Both have played a massive part in Scunthorpe United’s recent history. I know that they’ve both got miles on the clock. Bish at 37 will get a club, I know that and I’ve had phone calls already. He will carry on his career because he is a good professional. I think Tom needs a fresh challenge and I think we need to freshen things up a little bit. Although in many ways, he was the hardest decision, we both agreed that it was the right time. He goes with my full blessing and support and I’m sure our paths will cross over the next 12 months.


ND: Luke is an incredible talent and as a club we invested in him. Going back to his first pre-season with us three seasons ago, he was integral to the way we were trying to play at that time. He got injured at Burton in the first game of the season, along with Niall Canavan, and that affected our development that season as a team. He’s just not been able to fulfil his incredible potential because of those injuries. Most of the time, that is just out of your control. He’s lived his life right, he’s tried everything he could to stay fit and it just hasn’t happened. Luke is an incredible footballer and if he doesn’t get fulfil his potential in the rest of his career that will be really sad.


ND: In reference to Jack, he’s been with us since he was 16 when he came in from Leeds United. He’s had a couple of years as a pro without being able to break into the team. His highlight was probably scoring the penalty against Lincoln City in the Lincolnshire Senior Cup. Going to Ashton United and building a reputation as a player at that level is something he should be proud of. Jack is level, he’s got a good family behind him and he’s certainly got place at Ashton if he wants it, but hopefully he’s put himself in the shop window for teams around that level. What I’ve said to Jack is go and play men's football and rebuild your career. I’m testament to that, as was Neal Bishop and Dave Syers. That’s his objective. 


ND: On Jonny and Crofty, both were similar situations. Jonny has been unfortunate. In his first season with us, he was unfortunate because the strikers were doing so well and that prevented him from getting enough game time. He scored on one of his only appearances which will remain a good memory for him, but over the last 12 months, he’s suffered a key injury to his knee and that’s been hard for him. He’s conducted himself professionally and he’s in a position where he can start running, get back fit and hopefully get fixed up with a club in the summer. I sincerely hope he achieves a club at the highest level possible. For him now, it’s two years of missed opportunities and a lack of football, so he needs to go back to doing what he did as a kid at Hull City and that’s scoring goals. 

Crofty came in on deadline day back in August, along with Lee Novak, and he got a couple of injuries preventing him from taking the opportunity to take somebody else’s place in the team. He’s been studying for his UEFA ‘B’ License with the Welsh FA and I know he’s thinking about his next career path, but I know he still wants to be a professional footballer. At 33, he’s in fantastic condition and has got over those injuries. I’m sure he will relocate back down south and try and get fixed up in that part of the world again. He’s an incredible character and has been such a help to a number of our younger players. I know Duane, in particular, has found his support and mentoring over the last few months really important. If Crofty has played a significant part over his time at the club, look at home somebody like Duane has developed and matured during that time.

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