Shrewsbury Town 2019-20 League One Preview

After the 2017/18 where Shrewsbury Town finished 3rd in League One, The clubs highest finish since relegation to Third Division in 1994–95 season.

Many fans felt that they were hard done by Rotherham United in playoff final and Championship football days are not far away in their future, but the departures of Abu Ogogo, Alex Rodman, sale of Stefan Payne, Jon Nolan, Aristote Nsiala and most importantly the departure of Paul Hurst gave them a fresh start over.

To replace Hurst, they brought in John Askey, A man who guided Macclesfield Town back into the football league. They also brought in 12 new players in summer and six players in January. Summer signings gave a lot of optimism.

As soon as the season started, however, fans soon realized promotion might not be on the cards as they didn’t win any of their first seven games. After just five wins in 21 games, John Askey was sacked, and Sam Ricketts was brought in with club sitting in at the 15th position in League.

Former manager Paul Hurst was a free agent at the time of Sam Ricketts’ appointment which bewildered many fans. Ricketts was unable to improve the league position as they finished 18th but their FA Cup run was whole another story.

They reached 4th round by playing Salford City twice, Scunthorpe United, Stoke City twice, Wolverhampton Wanderers twice. This run also brought in season-high 9,503 attendance at New Meadow. Last season was their highest FA Cup finish since their fifth round in 2015–16.

The FA Cup run can be considered as a positive for the season and it is not always easy to rebuild the squad if you loose stars like Jon Nolan, Dean Henderson, Toto Nsiala, Alex Rodman, Stefan Payne, Ben Godfrey and Carlton Morris in one transfer window.  So, last season can be dubbed as a rebuilding season.

Shrewsbury Town 2019-20 Departures

They have released 5 players in the summer and they are as follows

  • Mat Sadler,
  • Doug Loft,
  • John McAtee,
  • George Hughes and
  • Christos Shelis.

Fan-favorite James Bolton rejected the contract offer to join Portsmouth, and Sam Jones left the club on mutual consent.

They have sold the following players in the summer

  • Aaron Amadi-Holloway,
  • Lee Angol,
  • Steve Arnold,
  • Alex Gilliead,
  • Ryan Haynes.

Shrewsbury Town is one of the clubs that are too reliant on the loan market. As many fans would say if you don’t get promoted after using too many loan signings, then you will find yourself in a tough situation.

Some of the crucial players who joined them on loan and went back to their parent clubs in summer are as follows.

  • Greg Docherty,
  • Jonathan Mitchell,
  • Tyrese Campbell,
  • Sam Smith,
  • Stefan Payne.

One of the players that jump straight away from the loan player list is Greg Docherty who has joined The Shrews on a season-long loan from rangers and won Shrewsbury’s Player of the Year.

So, in total 12 players left the club and five players went back to their parent clubs.

Shrewsbury Town Manager

After losing Paul Hurst in summer and a poor run of games under John Askey, Sam Ricketts was appointed as manager.

He has made abundantly clear that staying in the league was his objective last season. There is no doubt in saying pushing for playoffs or at least finishing in the top half will be a realistic target for him this season.

Sam Ricketts joined Shrewsbury Town after a brief but successful spell with their local rivals Wrexham where he won the National League Manager of the Month for October 2018 and had a record of winning 13, drawing eight from the 24 games he has been in charge.

To add to that, he made 52 appearances for Wales Senior team and had 456 club appearances to his name and won promotion from League Two with Swansea City in 04-05 season, promotion from League One with Wolverhampton Wanderers in 13-14 and promotion from Championship with Hull City in 07-08 season as a player.

While at Wrexham, he frequently played 4-3-3 but after moving to Shrewsbury Town, he played many formations like 5-3-2, 3-4-1-2, 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2 many feel this was due to unavailability of players who can play in 4-3-3.

Now that he was able to bring in his players, he might revert to his preferred 4-3-3 formation.

Shrewsbury Town 2019-20 New Signings

Shrewsbury has brought in a mixture of Experienced as well as youngsters, Permanent as well as loan signings this season. The signings they have made so far this season are as follows.

Ethan Ebanks-Landell

Ethan Ebanks-Landell is a 6 ft 2 defender who predominantly plays as a Center back but can play on both sides as a fullback.

He is a product of Wolverhampton Wanderers academy and made 50 Senior and 54 U-23 appearances in his 19-year tenure at the club.

During his time with Wolves, he has spent time on loan at Bury, Sheffield United, Milton Keynes Dons, and Rochdale accumulating further 111 game experience.

Shrewsbury Town will be the second club to have him on their books permanently.

He spent the first half of last season with Wolverhampton Wanderers U-23 squad training with Nuno Espírito Santo’s first team but soon realized that he was not in the plans of the manager and joined Rochdale for the second half of the season.

When he joined Rochdale in January they were sitting at 19th in the league table. Apart from missing two weeks in March after he hurt his quad, he played 90 minutes in most of the games and helped Rochdale finish 14th.

In total, he played 16 games in League One last season and scored two goals. When it comes to his playing style. He can deal with strikers who want to hold up play or players who are quick as he has a good jumping reach, strong and pacy for a 6 ft 2 player.

Aaron Pierre

Aaron Pierre is another key Center back to add depth to the position after they conceded 59 goals last season and released Mat Sadler in summer.

Pierre is an English born Grenadian defender who is a product of Fulham and Brentford academies.

He is currently 26, 6 feet tall. Pierre is a left-footed player and has an experience of playing 226 games at the professional level. One hundred seventy-three of those were in league two, and 19 were from League One.

Pierre was part of the PFA League Two team of the year in the 2015-16 season and was part of the Wycombe Wanderers 2014-15 team which reached playoff final.

He spent the last two seasons with Northampton Town. He was a regular starter for them in at the start of 2017-18 League One season, but he picked up a groin injury in December which led to him missing most of that season.

Last season in League Two he was named Northampton Town’s Player of the Season. His performances made him a fan favorite at Sixfields Stadium, and hopefully, he can continue his form from last season at New Meadow.  

Daniel Udoh

Daniel Udoh is a product of Luton Town, Stevenage Academies and was also a former Nigerian youth international.

This season will see him return to Football League football after spending one year in Non-League. He previously made six appearances in League One and nine appearances in League Two.

In the first half of the 2017-18 season, he made 19 appearances for Halesowen Town and scored 7. Then in the second half, he joined   Leamington FC and scored 5 from 9 appearances. He also had brief stints at Solihull Moors, Chester whilst still on the loan while still on books at Crewe Alexandra.

This led to him leaving Crewe Alex and joining AFC Telford United on a permanent deal which led to 26 goals from 29 appearances in a single National League North campaign.

Daniel is a 5′ 11” striker who won’t let the opposition Center backs enjoy much time on the ball. He is quick and nimble-footed but also can outmuscle many defenders. Daniel also received much praise last season for his reactions as soon as there is a loose ball in and around the 18-yard area.

Joe Murphy

After the departure of Steve Arnold and with Jonathan Mitchell returning to Derby, Goalkeeping position one of the key areas that needed new signings this summer.

That is where Joe Murphy can be a really good signing as he brings in an experience of making 518 appearances in his club career and was also capped by Irish international team at a various level including 2 senior appearances.

The 37-year-old was an integral part of the Bury team that won the promotion from League Two last season even under conditions where players were paid late or not paid for the most part of last season.

His notable accomplishments include Promotion from League One with Scunthorpe United in 2006-07 and 2008-09 following relegation in 2007-08, Promotion from League Two with bury in the 2018-19 season. Individually he was named in PFA Team of the Year thrice(2 times 2006-07, 2008-09 for League One and 2018-19 for League Two).

The 6 ft 2 Irish shot-stopper is praised for his ball-handling skills, his reflexive saves, his Command Of Area but has faced criticism during his management of crosses and not punching the ball away, his passing ability.

Donald Love

The departure of James Bolton meant that they needed to bring in a player who can cover at Right Back.

Donald Love is a product of Manchester United Academy and was highly rated youngster when he joined black cats along with Paddy McNair for a combined fee of £5.5 million.

He had a disappointing three seasons at Wearside as he was involved in two relegation campaigns while personally only managing to make 34 appearances with a senior squad mostly due to his injuries.

Last season, he made appearances in four of their first six matches but suffered from an ankle ligament injury which led ligament reconstruction surgery and subsequently him missing most of the season.

After his recovery, he was asked to train and play with U-23 squad and in summer Sunderland agreed to terminate his contract with an objective of removing his £450,000/year wage off their books.

He made 9 youth appearances for Scotland and is a two time U-21 Premier League champion. He also has experience of playing 42 senior professional games.

If he can stay injury-free then The Shrews fans can expect to see a player who is a 5′ 10” hardworking fullback who can put a decent cross into the box.

Ryan Giles  

Ryan Giles is a Left-sided Midfielder/winger who is currently 19-years-old. He is currently on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers and is one of the highly-rated players at the academy.

He was part of the Wolverhampton Wanderers team that visited New Meadow for FA Cup fourth-round tie and made his senior debut in that match

He made 46 u-18 appearances, 22 U-23 appearances for Wolverhampton Wanderers in the last two seasons. Giles also made nine appearances for A.F.C. Telford United last season scoring two and showcasing his linkup play with Daniel Udoh.

Ryan Giles is a pacy winger who can dribble past opponents with ease and covers a lot of ground during the game.

Steve Morison

Steve Morison has joined on a season-long loan from Millwall. The 35-year-old brings a wealth of experience and quality to the club.

He is a product of Northampton Town academy but didn’t find life easy in the football world as he had to play 5-year non-league football at Bishop’s Stortford(2 years), Stevenage(3 years) before being scouted by Milwall.

In the first spell at Millwall, he scored 35 goals in 83 which led to a move to Norwich City and making 53 appearances in Premier League but his record of scoring only 10 goals meant Norwich offloaded him to Leeds United to play championship football.

Following a season where Morison scored 5 goals in 42 appearances with Leeds, Morison joined Milwall again initially on loan and then permanently to play 4 seasons at The Den.

His notable accomplishments include 20 Welsh caps, Two promotions from League One with Millwall(09-10, 16-17). Individually, he was named Stevenage Player of the Year: 2007–08, Millwall Player of the Year: 2016–17.

Steve Morison is a 6 foot 2 forward who predominantly plays as a striker but can also play as a winger on both sides and Second striker.

He is an assist machine who tries to bring in his teammates into the game with his holdup play and is often praised for his vision and his crossing ability.

Max O’Leary

Max O’Leary had a brilliant breakthrough season at Bristol City in the 2018-19 season becoming a second choice at the championship club behind Niki Maenpaa and making 18 appearances including 4 clean sheets.

He was also called up to the Irish squad in summer following a late injury to Mark Traves even after being born in Bath, England.

O’Leary who is now was on Bristol City books since 2006(or since he was 10 years old) and made loan moves to gain first-team experience to Kidderminster Harriers, Bath City, and Solihull Moors previously.

Max O’Leary is a 6’1″, 22-year-old goalkeeper who is praised for his ability to pass the ball and his composure during one v one situations.

Luke McCormick

Luke McCormick is a 20-year-old versatile midfielder who predominantly plays as a Central Midfielder but can also play as DM, AM, RM player.

He is a product of Chelsea Academy and has been on the clubs’ books since he was six-years-old. He was part of the Chelsea U-18 that won Treble in the 2016-17 season.

McCormick became a regular for U-18, U-23 squads in 2017-18 season also wearing the armband for the U-18 team but injuries kept him out of action in the 2018-19 season delaying his loan move to gain first-team experience by one year.

Luke is known for his lung-busting runs and can be an asset if Shrewsbury Town decides to play a pressing game this season. His versatility adds depth to the squad at many positions.

Shrewsbury Town 2019-20 Away Journey

The longest trip The Blues have to make this season is to play Sunderland at the Stadium of Light while the shortest trip will be to play Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park. More numbers about their journeys are listed below in miles.

Total Distance2960
Average distance per game128.7
Longest Trip227
Shortest Trip59

Shrewsbury Town 2019-20 Odds

Bookmakers are predicting a top-half finish. The odds that are being offered are as follows

Promotion 14/1
Relegation 4/1

Shrewsbury Town 2019-20 Fixtures

To read more club previews click here or visit 72 in 72 section from the menu.

Thanks for stopping by and have a nice day – Sapra