Anderson goes into detail on everything Sky Blue in his Scunthorpe United PUSB matchday programme notes...
Good afternoon and welcome to this afternoon’s game against Scunthorpe United. I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of the Directors, staff, and supporters from North Lincolnshire.
It’s been another busy couple of weeks at the club. On the pitch, it’s the first time the side have lost two consecutive games this season. While it is important to keep in mind how far we’ve come since the end of last season, no one was more disappointed in last weekend’s result than the players themselves. Their reaction after the game told me what they have come to expect for themselves and from each other. I know they want to put it right; I also know they’ll get back to winning ways soon.
Our 1st team reflects who we are as a football club. Tony Mowbray and all the football staff have developed a strong team spirit and an exciting playing philosophy. We won’t win every game, but to sustain success over time, we need to make sure our players and staff fit within the mould of that model.
Given our budget and the division we are in, this is a challenge and an opportunity. Both by necessity and design, our team has changed considerably since we beat Wigan Athletic in the first game of the season. Remember that only 10 of the 18- man squad at Southend were on the teamsheet on August 8 when we began this year’s campaign; 5 of the 11 players who started at Southend also started against Wigan; 23 different players have worn the Sky Blue shirt this year. As in every football club, our squad will continue to evolve, and Tony and Mark are continually working to identify the right players to bring into the squad to make sure it is ready for the demands until May. That work is likely to continue, even beyond the end of the regular transfer window, which closes at 11pm on Monday. It’s important to note that the loan window is also an option for us past the completion of the transfer window. As you know, we have made very productive use of the loan system so far this season and I’m sure this is an option we’ll explore.
I am also delighted to report that the Under 18s recorded a brilliant 2-1 victory over Charlton Athletic in the FA Youth Cup this week, setting up an exciting tie with Arsenal in the next round. Congratulations to all players and staff involved in the competition so far; I can’t wait to see our next generation take on the Gunners next. As the team’s success in the competition shows already, it’s clear that our Academy are producing some excellent young footballers who will hopefully be making their 1st team debut in the years to come.
Off the pitch, preparations have stepped up for Jimmy Hill’s celebration at Coventry Cathedral on Friday, February 12th, and we were delighted to see that all of the tickets have been snapped up for the occasion. This means that the service will be broadcast live in Cathedral Square which means many more Coventry City supporters will be able to take part in the event.
It’s been absolutely fantastic the way members of the community have joined forces to arrange and plan the event. Coventry City Council, the Lord Mayor’s office, Coventry University, the SCG (Supporters Consultative Group), the CCFPA (Coventry City Former Players Association, the Cathedral, and of course, ourselves, have all come together to plan what will be a truly special occasion for a truly special man.
The celebrations will continue the day after when we face Bury for our annual Legends Day event. I’m really looking forward meeting some of the legends and former players. It’s important we celebrate our history and past and use it as a catalyst and inspiration to drive forward a better future for the club. Without giving too much away, we’ve also got more tributes to Jimmy planned on the day, so I’m sure it’ll be another special occasion which you shouldn’t miss out on.
Finally, I’d like to welcome a new staff member to Ryton. Laura Hunter has joined us as club journalist from Crystal Palace – it’s a transfer signing that I know all of us will benefit from – and I’m looking forward to working with her in the future.
Thanks for reading and enjoy the game,