Knill’s recruitment drive gives added strength to Scunthorpe

As far as the January Transfer Windows go, this has been one of the most exciting and promising that we’ve seen at the Iron. Alan Knill has brought in seven players in a bid to gain points and move away from the dreaded relegation zone. Given the size of the club, it was always likely that if players were to be brought in, then current players would have to leave. As a result five players parted company with the club, mainly due to not being part of Knill’s future first team plans.

Our first move in the transfer market was the signing of young forward Connor Jennings from Stalybridge Celtic on an undisclosed fee. Jennings made just over 100 appearances for the Blue Square North side, netting a huge 44 times during his two and a half years there. He made his debut for the Iron off the bench in our recent draw at Colchester United. When a new forward is brought into the side, it was always likely for one to move the other way, and consequently Chris Dagnall left for Barnsley just a couple of days later. Dagnall had a particularly frustrating 18 months at the club, scoring only 9 times despite making 60 appearances.

Welsh international full back Christian Ribeiro was Knill’s next capture from Bristol City. Ribeiro has been brought into the side to try and solidify the defence after an unsettled start to the season.  Knill then successfully brought in Josh Walker as a replacement for Oliver Norwood, who returned to Manchester United after his loan spell finished at Glanford Park. Walker was originally brought on a permanent transfer but due to FIFA regulations, he is now only at the club on a one month loan from Watford but this will be extended on a month to month basis.

With the 11pm transfer deadline looming large, Alan Knill acted swiftly and brought in three players to reinforce and add depth to the side. I’m sure Scunny fans will remember the hard tackling and aerial strength of David Mirfin. Mirfin left last summer when his contract expired to Championship club Watford. However Mirfin has struggled to hold down a place in the starting eleven in Sean Dyche’s team and he will have jumped at the chance for a loan return to the Iron.

Undoubtedly the surprise of the window for the Iron was the capture of well-known striker Jon Parkin with Scunthorpe becoming his eighth club on deadline day. Supporters will be hoping that he can add some much-needed strength, power and crucially goals to the Iron attack. Free agent Robbie Gibbons was the third player to join on deadline day after he was released by the Cyrprus club Ermis Aradippou and left-back Jamie Reckord came in on loan to wrap up the business for the club in a very busy transfer window.

After only a year at the club defender Michael Nelson had left by mutual consent earlier in January, and has since joined SPL side Kilmarnock. Youngster Ashley Palmer has gone out on loan and youth trainees Jordan Thewlis and Jake Turner both departed.

Twelve players came and went in the busiest transfer window I’ve seen at the club for quite a few years. Let’s hope that the new arrivals can add exactly what we need to the team. The first major test will come when we play fellow strugglers Walsall on Saturday with three points critically needed to help move the club away from our precarious position at the bottom.

By Tony Bickley