Defender Andy Butler has been confirmed as Scunthorpe United’s team captain ahead of the 2019-20 season.
Returning to the club after 11 years away, this summer saw the 35-year-old centre-back come back to the side he made his league debut for in 2003, and manager Paul Hurst explained the reasons behind the decision to iFollow Iron.
He said: “Andy will be a good leader for the team. He’s very experienced and well respected in the group, and that’s become apparent since the players have returned. He’ll have the armband for us.”
Butler added: “It’s a massive honour and I never expected it. It won’t change how I play and I expect everyone around me to be exactly the same as well. Just because I wear an armband won’t make me different to anyone else. The whole team will be leaders on the pitch, and we have a lot of them to be honest.”
He played 153 times for the first team in his original spell and has since gone on to make a total of 629 career appearances.
“He’s very well thought of by the fans from his time here previously,” explained Hurst. “He’s a good professional and you only have to look at how well he’s done in pre-season, in games, on the training ground and also with the running. He’s a good example for the younger players and has a lot to offer us.”
Butler has captained the side during a number of the pre-season matches, and the manager continued: “It was an easy choice in some aspects, although there are other lads who are capable of filling that role and may have to at various points in the season. We want a team who are vocal and demanding from each other, but sometimes you need that calming influence too. I think Andy fits that bill.”
Hurst concluded: “Rory McArdle captained the side last season and this is no slight on him. I just felt we want a fresh start all round, so we’ve taken that responsibility away from him but at the same time still expect him to be one of the leaders on and off the pitch. He will be one of the players myself and Chris (Doig, assistant manager) will speak to in terms of gauging the mood in the camp.”
Butler finished: “I can’t wait to get started. The pre-season games have been good, we’ve learnt a lot from them and how the gaffer wants us to play. It’s about getting fit. Everyone has worked hard and that’s what you’ll hopefully see from us – a hard-working team who want to play football and be on the front foot.”