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Club News

Update from Lee Turnbull

7 October 2022

Club News

Update from Lee Turnbull

7 October 2022

Afternoon, Iron fans.

Thank you for the excellent support away at Torquay and Oldham last week. I’m delighted with attendances home and away this season so far which, as a club, gives us all a boost on and off the pitch.
We go into tomorrow's game full of confidence, five unbeaten and with the opportunity to finally put a marker down that we are progressing both in playing style and commitment from those in claret and blue. Tony and Nelse have certainly instilled a “never say die” attitude into the players and continue to work extremely hard to turn our fortunes around. Performances are improving and the players are buying into what Tony and Nelse are trying to do to galvanise a group of players that now believe and give everything for our football club.
I explained to the media last Saturday our stance regarding interest in Joe Nuttall. Joe has been outstanding for us this season, which is credit to him given the disappointment of last season. Joe explained to myself and Tony he was happy to stay with the Iron and help move the club forward. Of course, there will be interest in Joe and possibly other players who are performing well. The dynamic of player trading and balancing budgets is always a challenge. Trust me, this club did not want to lose Billy Sharp, Gary Hooper, Duane Holmes or Conor Townsend… but when money talks, money talks. Whether that is the transfer fee received or the player's salary increases by the buying club. I’ve been around the block a few times and know the time of day, so please respect my experience and knowledge that any deal that happens has to be in the best interests of this football club and of course the players involved.
Owen Foster recently trained at Premier League side Nottingham Forest. We were approached by Forest and were happy to allow Owen to go and enjoy the experience for a few days. Fozzy is still only 17 and without doubt an asset to this football club, Forest will continue to monitor Owen’s progress and we all believe Owen will be a top keeper in the future.
In respect of our players that are out on loan at the moment, let me explain our reasoning. Marcus Carver was injured when he signed and has been playing catch-up to get up to full speed. The plan is for Marcus to get games and minutes under his belt at his former club Southport in order for him to put his best foot forward with us in a few weeks' time, Marcus is a No 9, not a wide forward, and our system at the moment has Joe in that position with Lavs also capable of fulfilling that role. I believe Marcus will benefit from regular football and that will benefit us in the long-term. Fin Shrimpton and Harry Lewis are both at Gainsborough and again, from experience, are better getting regular football than being squad members here at present. The same applies for Jack Moore-Billam. With no reserve team or Under-23s, our young players are missing out on the development phase. We have a pathway for our young players which Tony is pivotal to. An opportunity to play regular football whether in the youth team or out on loan is far better than just training week in week out. Furthermore on this theme, Andy Butler has rejoined the Iron as Youth Development Phase Coach. Butty is a legend here at SUFC and will be a huge asset to the Academy and the Football Club.
An announcement will be made next week on a proposed date for the next Fans' Forum. Hopefully we can facilitate one in the next few weeks. Also, another coffee morning will be scheduled to allow fans that can’t attend the evening meeting an opportunity to discuss club matters with myself.

Without looking too far ahead, an interesting FA Cup draw pitches us against Northern Premier League side South Shields. A tough draw up in the North East will be a throwback to our older fans who might remember the FA Cup tie in 1971, where SS beat us in a replay at the Old Show Ground after a 3-3 draw in the first game.
Back to tomorrow's game, over 500 young people will populate the AMS stand versus Aldershot giving us volume at both ends of the stadium! Study United will be celebrating their 20th anniversary with us and have invited a number of local schools. Steve and his staff do a great job engaging with the young people of North Lincolnshire through their education programmes and their famous Supporter to Reporter initiative. I was part of the steering group all those years ago that fought for a Study Support Centre here at GP and I’m delighted to have been invited onto their 'friends of' board. Along with the newly named Iron Foundation (formerly Scunthorpe United Sports and Education Trust) our footprint within the local community is strong. Fan engagement and opportunities to watch the Iron are paramount to moving the club forward and I will always champion our partnership work with local stakeholders to make sure this football club continues to be a community hub and an important cog in future strategic planning within North Lincolnshire.

Our guest of honour versus Aldershot is Martin Carruthers. Gandhi, as he’s affectionately known, was brilliant here for the Iron - a prolific striker and all round good guy, scoring 39 goals in 100 appearances. It will be great to catch up with him in the restaurant (packages available). I did ask him to bring his boots!

Wayne Bullimore, Matt Carmichael and hopefully Nigel Adkins will be our guests in the next few home games. Hopefully, as we try and bring back some familiar faces to do the Q&A, our supporters continue to back these events. Great food and entertainment is another positive experience that I will continue to push and feedback on these initiatives is much appreciated.

Long-time Iron fan Roj Rahman has kindly agreed to purchase a scoreboard! This is brilliant news for us as a club and our supporters. It’s been a long time coming but, thanks to Roj, we are now eagerly awaiting its arrival! I can’t thank Roj enough, he’s one of our Community Champions and always “bangs the drum” promoting his beloved SUFC. Another positive meeting with our ever increasing group of Community Champions this week allowed me to invite St Lawrence Academy to GP for a “takeover day”. Staff member Ryan Oates also twisted my arm for us to host Schools Finals day here at GP at the end of the season, again something that should be a regular event in my opinion and will be in the future.
Some more drums will hopefully be banging tomorrow with live music from In-Denial in the marquee tomorrow, another local group and hopefully another great pre-match event to get everyone bouncing before kick-off! This might be the last occasion we host live music until spring, as the weather cools and with our next two home games on a Tuesday night. However, if anyone has a lighting rig we may be able to continue? Like everything we do, we do it with a listening ear, so let us know and see if anyone can help us out.
Let’s keep our foot on the gas, the volume button turned up and the energy and enthusiasm levels maxed out.
We have turned a small corner and with Tony, Nelse and Mussy, along with the staff on and off the pitch, we are getting some positive results. 100 per cent Iron in the blood! Tomorrow is another chance to try and get three points, and the opportunity to show supporters that slowly and surely we are making progress. Get behind the lads and drive us on!
Together we will be stronger!

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