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Conroy - It means a lot more

Town Skipper reflects on Scunthorpe win

8 August 2021

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Town Captain Dion Conroy felt that the superb opening day success over Scunthorpe United meant a lot more given everything the club has recently gone through.

Town produced a terrific display at Sands Venue Stadium to open their 2021-22 EFL Sky Bet League Two campaign with a 3-1 win, with Jack Payne, Ben Gladwin and Harry McKirdy all getting on the scoresheet.

It was a real gutsy performance from this Reds team given that they came back from a goal down, and it was a special day for everyone connected with the club.

Following a summer in which the very future of the club was in very real danger, Saturday marked a crucial step in the right direction and the future now looks incredibly bright.

Fans have their club back and it has been a monumental effort from everyone connected with the club over the last few weeks to get to this point, and all of the adversity and the spirit that has been cultivated from that made Saturday that much more special in the opinion of Conroy, who will once again lead Town out throughout 2021-22 as Captain.

"It means a lot more - that was a bigger game than everyone thought it was going to be," Conroy said.

"It was a very good performance from the boys and to get the win was massive.

"It is still early days, everyone is still getting to know each other, new bodies are coming in but we seem to have gelled very well and very quick, so hopefully it is going to be a very positive season.

"There was only a few of us in at the start and we were training with the youth team boys, so it was very tough but since the new guys have come in it has been night and day.

"The whole vibe of the club has changed and it is probably the best feeling I've had at the club since I've been here, so it is very positive and everyone is just ready to get the season going and having a good campaign.

"We kept a really good group of boys from last season and that's made all the new boys comfortable and everyone has gelled really quick.

"It really feels like the team when we got promoted in 2019-20, it really feels like that and the vibe is the best it has felt."

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It is only one game and there is still a lot of work to be done moving forward, but Conroy was impressed with how the team navigated a tough trip to Scunthorpe after having a much shorter preseason than most other teams.

"There's still stuff we need to work on as a team that the gaffer wants us to do, but we've only had a couple of weeks so, with more bodies coming in and more work with the Gaffer, he's very detailed with what he wants to do and it is amazing so the more we can work together during the week it will start to show during the games.

"Hopefully we can put in more good performances and keep getting more wins."

Town fans are very familiar with Ben Gladwin at this point, so it was no surprise when the midfielder unleashed one of his trademark strikes to give us the lead against Scunthorpe, and Conroy was full of praise for his teammate.

"Never surprised," he added.

"He does that a lot in training so it was great to see that go in and I'm very happy for him - he deserves that.

"Hopefully he can go on and have a good season with the team and we're looking forward to it."

Finally, Conroy was announced as Town's Captain for the 2021-22 season prior to the big kickoff, and the long-serving defender revealed his pride at once again wearing the armband for the Reds.

"I'm very, very honoured," Conroy said.

"Obviously the Gaffer is new, the team is brand new, we have new owners, everything is new and they wanted to start from scratch so I'm very, very honoured and privileged that the Gaffer wanted me to be Captain again.

"I'm hopeful that we can have a great season, stay injury free myself and get to experience what I didn't get to experience properly in 2019-20.

"I'm looking forward to it.

"I'm just looking forward to playing football this season, give performances like that to the fans and hopefully it can be a memorable one for everyone at the club."


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