Here we are again, on the cusp of a new season, with something like unerring anticipation in the air for all Iron fans.
It’s been an interesting summer. Since the ignominy of relegation to the National League North, for a club that enjoyed Championship football just twelve years ago, we find ourselves on rung 6 of the football league ladder, unthinkable a few seasons hence.
Yet here we are, and in typical Iron fashion we’ve had a mixed pre-season of signings, drama, anxiety and complete outrage.
The club has enjoyed its best summer of recruitment since the halcyon days of the former chairman’s honeymoon period. Jimmy Dean and David Hilton have assembled a squad more than able to set this league alight. Bags of quality, experience and flair, and we hope, plenty of goals as well.
But issues remain. And the biggest task the club and the manager face, is ensuring consistent results with off-field turmoil still looming large in the background. In the back of every Iron fan’s mind, like a spectre hanging over the club, its shadow around every corner.
So that’s the task for Jimmy, can he focus on the football? Can he get the team winning every week, despite the off-field issues?
Seemingly no other manager has managed to do this in recent memory. Evidenced by our rapid fall down the league pyramid.
I like to think he can. After a dodgy start to pre-season the team has looked excellent, racking up impressive results against league and non-league opposition alike.
And make no mistake, this team has been assembled with one thing in mind, immediate promotion. Given the expense to assemble it, nothing else is acceptable.
Herein lies Jimmy’s second biggest challenge. He needs to hit the ground running, he needs to build immediate momentum, he needs to win almost every week. Only through this can we justify the money spent on players who, by all rights, should not be playing at this level. Such is the quality of the squad that has been assembled.
If our man Jimmy can manage to succeed in these two things, and the club can keep an even keel behind the scenes, through whatever mechanism it employs, we may finally, finally have a season to enjoy.
Because that’s all we want, we want to win games, enjoy watching football and take pride once again in admitting that we are all the same, that we are all Iron fans.