Back for a second stint at the club, cult hero Andy Butler will embark upon his sixth season in Scunthorpe colours when the campaign kicks off on Saturday, hosting Swindon Town.
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The “proud” captain will lead the Iron out 11 years after initially departing, after cutting his footballing teeth in North Lincolnshire.
He told iFollow Iron: “Everyone knows my affiliation with Scunthorpe. I started my career here from 16 so it’s a proud moment to be given the armband for this season and to lead Scunthorpe out.
“I won’t change as a person; I’d be exactly the same if I had the armband or didn’t have the armband. It won’t affect me.”
Butler has learnt a lot in his time away from the club, with spells at Huddersfield Town, Walsall and Doncaster Rovers.
“I’ve played quite a few games since I’ve been gone; experienced a few promotions and relegations. I left a boy and came back as a man,” he added.
“It’s been a few years away now but it feels like I never left. There’s still familiar faces around the ground and in the stands.
“I’m doing my coaching as well, so you can take bits of your coaching into your playing game. Hopefully I can pass my experience on to the players around me.”
Butler has the secret to success in League Two, having been promoted with the Iron in the past; most notably in 2004/05, and also Doncaster Rovers in 2016/17.
“Consistency,” he remarked. “You can’t be too high when you win games or too low when you lose. It’s about the whole season.
“Everyone in the squad will be needed. People that aren’t in the team for the first game will be disappointed but you have to look at the duration of the season; it’s a marathon not a sprint.”
The 35-year-old can’t wait to get going on home soil, which he believes will work in the Iron’s favour.
“I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait for the season to start. We’ll take the game to them because we’re at home,” he said.
“You have to be prepared to take three points at home so the emphasis will be on us and what we can do. But the start isn’t everything. If you don’t win, you learn from it; if you win, you progress.
Having played alongside the Robins’ manager Richie Wellens at Doncaster, he knows what his former teammate’s side is all about.
He said: “It’ll be a tough game. I’ve played with Richie [Wellens] and (Swindon defender) Mathieu Baudry at Doncaster so I know they’ll want to play football and be a passing team and expansive when they have the ball.
“We’ll focus on ourselves more than anything and what we’re good at.”
The centre-back will be welcomed back to the heart of the defence and the hearts of Iron fans with open arms, as he made a promise ahead of the campaign.
He concluded: “I always give 100 per cent on the pitch. If there’s a ball to be won, I’ll win it. There are only a few old-school defenders left who’ll tackle and head balls, so hopefully Scunthorpe fans will see that this season from me.”
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