After a couple of up and down seasons, Shrewsbury are once again back in League One under the guidance of Micky Mellon. Whilst playing second fiddle to Burton Albion, the team were convincing in the way they went up and are now looking forward to a season in the third tier.
Last Season: League Two (2nd)
Manager: Micky Mellon
GKs: Jayson Leutwiler, Mark Halstead, Callum Burton, Shaun Rowley
DFs: Jermaine Grandison, Mickey Demetriou, Mark Ellis, Connor Goldson, Nathaniel Knight-Percival, Dominic Smith, Mat Sadler, Matt Tootle
MFs: Ryan Woods, Liam Lawrence, James Wesolowski, James Caton, Jordan Clark, Shaun Whalley, Martin Woods, Abu Ogogo, Junior Brown, Darren McKnight
FWs: James Collins, Scott Vernon, Tyrone Barnett, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, Kaiman Anderson
In: Abu Ogogo (Dagenham & Redbridge), Mat Sadler (Rotherham United), Shaun Whalley (Luton Town), Martin Woods (Ross County), Matt Tootle (Crewe Alexandra), Junior Brown (Mansfield Town), Darren McKnight (Barnsley)
Out: Ashley Vincent (Released), Aaron Wildig (Morecambe), Cameron Gayle (Released), Andy Mangan (Tranmere Rovers)
First Six: Millwall (H), Bradford City (A), Chesterfield (H), Oldham Athletic (A), Burton Albion (H), Barnsley (A)
Likely Lineup: (4-5-1) Leutwiler – Grandison, Goldson, Sadler, Demetriou – Woods, Lawrence, Wesolowski, Ogogo, Brown – Collins
A word from…Nigel Jemson
On his time at Shrewsbury Yeah I had some great times at Shrewsbury and we did very well. On a personal level I was playing well and scoring goals and enjoyed playing under a good manager in Kevin Ratcliffe and the Everton game was the icing on the cake. It brought a lot of publicity and financial rewards and the subsequent game against Chelsea brought attention to us and that was a great occasion for all involved. We had a good team and it was a good, family club run by good people and it was a real shame that we got relegated. The FA Cup run brought us out of the red and into the black but it was a blow that we went down and Kevin got the sack off the back of that
On losing football league status It was difficult yes. I was disappointed that Kevin lost his job and that we fell out of the league because our team was more than good enough to stay up. The biggest single thing was having so many postponements (at the old Gay Meadow) because of the waterlogged pitches. It meant we were playing Saturday, Tuesday…Saturday, Tuesday and that backlog ultimately was too much to overcome. I’m not sure I would have stayed at Shrewsbury had we remained in the division but when the manager was changed I was asked to interview about taking over. I don’t think the club was genuinely serious about appointing me as manager; more about picking my brains as it were; and then Jimmy Quinn came in they managed to get back into the league. I was pleased they did that but it did all end on a bit of a sour note for me at Shrewsbury, which was a real shame.
On the new Shrewsbury The new set up certainly looks impressive. I have to say I’ve never been to the New Meadow in person and I don’t really know anything about Mickey Mellon personally but it seems the club are on a good footing and (as you mentioned) they gave Chelsea a good game in the League Cup last season. Obviously a lot has changed from my time.
If I’m honest I don’t go out of my way to follow developments there or at almost all of my former clubs. I don’t especially look out for their results any more than I do Bury’s or anyone else I’ve played for. It’s just not something I think of. I had my time at Shrewsbury and, when it was over, I moved on.
On settling quickly after promotion We had a great group of players when I was there and, as I’ve said, a top manager in Kevin. You need stability at any club. I would imagine that would be the current manager’s priority going forward especially when you’re in a different league. That’s the same at any club and I’m sure that’s what Shrewsbury will be doing.
The Offside Rule Podcast Prediction: Sadly, Shrewsbury don’t seem to have enough in their squad yet to sustain a challenge in League One.
Key Player: James Collins – Goals win you games, especially at this level. Collins was key to Shrewsbury going up and he’ll be key to them staying up.
One to Watch: Abu Ogogo – An incredibly shrewd signing. Shone for a long time at Dagenham and should be more than ready for the step up in divisions.