Signs of life

After weeks of radio silence, there are finally signs of life at Glanford Park.

After weeks of radio silence, there are finally signs of life at Glanford Park.

The tumbleweed has been swept away by a small group of willing volunteers and a pristine training pitch (insert your own fertiliser punchline here), adorned with fancy ‘SUFC’ pitch side lettering, greeted a minibus full of trialists who will attempt to impress Keith Hill over the coming days.

History suggests that signings made past this line in the sand often turn out to be duds (Funso Ojo a recent exception?) but it is a case of needs must for Hill as he looks to bolster an ill equipped and threadbare squad ahead of our dreaded National League debut in just five weeks time.

Despite the obvious size of the task at hand, he appeared relaxed and afforded a smile or two as the players were snapped returning for pre season testing. Was it simply a brave face for the cameras, or perhaps a man confident in the knowledge that those building blocks are indeed in place to reverse the club’s fortunes?

With a number of key summer targets already deciding to move elsewhere and expectations at an all time low, it’s more likely to be the former, but of course we’d all love to be proven wrong!

So, who are the five trialists?

Little is known so far but former Iron left back Kgosi Ntlhe (remember him?) is definitely one of them.

Probably best remembered for a altercation with Danny Drinkwater in a Manchester nightspot during a spell on the sidelines with a back injury, it’s fair to say on pitch memories of Kgosi in claret and blue are rather hazy.

At 28, he does offer experience and the chances are he would be a capable performer in the National League, but there should be are definite concerns over his injury record. Knee ligament damage disrupted his spell at Barrow and he’s averaged just 25 or so games per season since breaking onto the scene at Peterborough in 2011.

This morning’s long distance run (Brian Laws stylee!) around the streets of Scunthorpe was arguably the ultimate stress test!

📹🏃‍♂️ More pre-season graft from the players, this time pounding the streets of Scunthorpe earlier today.#UTI #IRON

Talking of duds, Tyrone O’Neill’s exit hammered home just how poor recruitment has been as he became the seventh and final player signed last summer to have been shown the door. It really doesn’t bear thinking about the consequences if the club get it so wrong again this time around.

York are the only side to have suffered consecutive relegations from the EFL to the National League North/South. On the evidence we have so far, you wouldn’t bet against the Iron joining them in the history books.

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