Joy & excitement for fans
This summer has been one of joy and excitement for Shrewsbury Town fans. Promotion was celebrated with gusto on a warm Saturday in the spring.
There was partying into the night (certainly in Belle Vue), with Town fans wearing the newly launched home and away shirts. Proudly wearing the returned “Loggerheads” crest, on true ‘Blue and Amber’ striped shirts.
Wearing those shirts has been a cause célèbre. Saying ‘Yes, I was part of following that team to places like Accrington, and Carlisle on cold Tuesday nights’, to see the team finish as runners up to a very worthy Burton side.
Despite one or two little mishaps with the initial run of replica shirts (the Loggerheads started falling off) football loving Salopians have been looking forward to the release of the fixtures, and trips to former giants. Plus of course renewing friendly rivalries with the likes of Walsall, Port Vale and Crewe.
The talk amongst the Prince of Wales’s Blue and Amber contingent has been ‘how will we do this season?’.
And the answer is a confident, ‘more than alright’.
Unlike last time, the stars of the promotion team haven’t gone to pastures new. Well not in totality.
Manager Micky Mellon, has looked to improve the team. And that has meant moving on some of those that became ‘cult heroes’ last season.
The major surprise was Andy Mangan. He who put out Leicester City of the Premier League in the League Cup and equalised against title winners Chelsea in that never to be forgotten night at the Greenhous Meadow.
Mangan, loved by the Town faithful, had injury concerns all last season. Unfortunately the rigours of League One football, were a risk that Mellon wasn’t prepared to take. At the friendly with Tranmere (Mangan’s new club) Andy applauded the Town fans during the game. They returned with applause and chanting.
We’ll never forget what he did for us. And the fact that Mellon and Mangan embraced at the end speaks volumes.
Of the new boys, Mat Sadler (former loanee) makes a welcome return at left back. Shaun Walley (from Luton) adds pace, Martin Wood more options in midfield along with Junior Brown, Abu Ogogo and young Darren McKnight. Matt Tootle has also joined on the right hand side of defence, giving more cover in that position (Cameron Gayle having been released).
Liam McAlinden re-joins on loan from Wolves as a striker and has already shown an eye for goal. The Molineux youngster is still regarded highly in the Black Country. And he hopes to shine whilst on loan (and thankfully the only loanee in the squad) until January.
As all clubs have a limit on the budget they can spend against turnover, this is likely to mean that some of the squad from last season will eventually leave. This means Mickey Demetriou and Scott Vernon are likely to be heading for the exit door. If they do, the plan is to re-sign crowd favourite Jermaine Grandison and scorer of the vital promotion winning goal Jean Louis Akpa Akpro.
One disappointment was not being able to sign midfielder Bobby Grant, who joined Fleetwood.
However the forecast departures of Conor Goldson, Ryan Woods, and Swiss goalkeeper Jason Leutwiler have not materialised.
Town will be hoping for a good start to dispel any doubts of relegation.
A decent cup run and a place safely in mid-table is the minimum Town fans expect from what should be an interesting season.
article by Adrian Plimmer for the Belle Vue Magazine