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Experienced goalkeeper Howard reacts to Iron move

22 October 2020

Goalkeeper Mark Howard says he's 'hungry to get back playing' and is looking forward to passing on his experience to the rest of the squad after signing on a free transfer on Thursday morning.

The 34-year-old penned a deal until the end of the season and has made almost 300 career appearances, with Blackpool his most recent club last season.

Howard started his career with Arsenal and counts Cardiff City, St Mirren, Aberdeen, Blackpool (twice), Sheffield United and Bolton Wanderers amongst his permanent clubs.

He told iFollow Iron: "I'm delighted to get it done, and as soon as I knew Scunthorpe were interested it was a no brainer for me. I wanted to get back playing and this is a great opportunity for me to play some games and help the club do well.

"The COVID-19 situation has been difficult for everyone but I've just concentrated on myself and family, and staying fit and ready. I'm looking forward to getting going.

"I've spoken to many clubs and many managers, but didn't feel the opportunities were quite right for me at the time. This is the right chance for me to take, come in and play games, and do well.

"It's been quick and straight forward, with the club doing everything they can to bring me in and they've been really supportive of that.

"Hopefully with my experience I can help improve things and also help Rory and the other lads develop as goalkeepers. I want to pass my experience on.

"Looking around the dressing room, there are a lot of young faces and I'm the oldest but hopefully I can bring my experience. I've been around and played for a lot of clubs at a lot of different levels.

"As a goalkeeper, I still feel really young and like I've got loads to give. I've tried to look after myself as best as I can and that's massively important as the game's evolving.

"I've been training with a few other clubs, and people have been doing me favours. I've trained with a few other goalkeepers just to make sure I'm ready. I was confident the opportunity would come along that would suit both parties.

"(Long trips away like Exeter on Saturday) are part and parcel of football now and will be a good experience for me to get to know the lads, find out what the personalities are like in the changing room and try to add to it.

"Whenever I'm called upon, I'll be here to help and I'll be ready. I'm hungry to get back playing."

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First team manager Neil Cox added: "Mark's an experienced goalkeeper that we've tried to get a couple of times when I've been at other clubs, but we've just not managed to get it over the line.

"I knew I needed to get some senior pros in the side and he comes in with a lot of experience, a winning mentality and it will be good for everybody.

"He trained on Thursday and I will go on the say of him and Mussy (goalkeeping coach Paul Musselwhite regarding fitness). He's worked hard through the summer, but we have to be careful. We have to make sure he's available for the whole season.

"Hopefully we can get another new addition over the line soon too. The knowledge and experience of some players who have been in these situations before will help the younger boys."

See much more from Mark Howard on iFollow Iron. Click here to buy a £10 match pass ahead of Saturday's trip to face Eseter City.


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