Marcus looks ahead to Saturday's pre-season visit of Chesterfield
This weekend sees Micky Mellon's first Shrewsbury Town team take to the field for the first time together. It's been a whirlwind closed season as far as new players are concerned, most of last years squad has moved on to pastures new so there are a lot of new faces in the squad. Most familiar to many will be Liam Lawrence, who has Premiership goals to his name. Signings like that of Lawrence are a good indication of how seriously Shrewsbury Towns back-room staff are taking this seasons campaign. We also have James Collins back at the club after a spell with Swindon and Hibernian, welcome back James, good to have you and your goals back at Shrewsbury Town!
But I wont mention each player individually, if I do then I'll have to talk about all Chesterfields comings and goings and that will take far too long. I'll just welcome Micky Mellon and his new staff to Shrewsbury Town, wish them luck and get on with the preview.
Chesterfield don’t look like they've signed too many so far anyway, they did sign Port Vales Danny Jones for their defence and released Marc Richards and Jamie Devitt at the end of last season. The Spirites do have a couple of trialists at the moment with Romy Boco and Nicky Featherstone currently in the squad. Midfielder Ollie Banks is sidelined but he’s expected to be ready for first team selection early in the new season.
Paul Cook has been Chesterfield manager since 2012 when he replaced Tommy Wright. In his time with the Spirites, the ex-Wolves midfielder has guided them back to League One having taken the Derbyshire club to 8th place in his first season. Previously Cook has coached in Ireland with Sligo Rovers and in English football as a coach with Southport and Accrington.
Ones to Watch
Last season Eion Doyle and Gary Roberts scored 11 times in League Two, so they're both going to be dangers. There is also Ex-Shrewsbury midfielder Jimmy Ryan to keep an eye out for, he got himself a couple of goals last season in the league and a couple in the cups. Striker Jay O'Shea got himself nine goals last season so he's another one to be guarded against.
As with many pre-season games this early, I suspect that it will be more case of gaining fitness than desperately wanting a win. For most of us, this game will be the first opportunity to see our new players in amber and blue, so it's worth coming along to get used to what they look like and how they play in preparation for the coming season.
I'm hoping for a positive performance with plenty of goals (hopefully for us), lots of attacking no injuries. As the patch previewer who never predicts a town loss, you are safe from any negativity when it comes to forecasts. I'll start the season off worth a positive prediction for us, I want a clean sheet and some goals so a 3-0 win for Shrewsbury Town!