Jimmy Ryan returns to the Greenhous Meadow tomorrow afternoon ready for a reunion with one of his closest friends in football.
Former Liverpool youngster Ryan spent the 2007-8 campaign with Shrewsbury, initially on loan before completing a permanent deal.
His release at the end of that season was followed by a move to Accrington, where he linked up with current Shrewsbury striker Terry Gornell.
The pair have since gone their separate ways but will link up tomorrow when Town entertain Ryan’s Scunthorpe.
“I played with Jimmy Ryan at Accrington and he was a very good player,” said Gornell.
“He is a very good friend of mine and I know he enjoyed his time here.”
Ryan will arrive back in Shropshire as part of a Scunthorpe squad desperately searching for a morale-boosting victory.
Four League One defeats were followed by a 1-1 draw with Sheffield United last week, although much of the gloss was knocked off holding the title favourites by the fact the Blades were reduced to nine men.
Iron manager Alan Knill was the last visiting boss to leave the Greenhous Meadow a victor thanks to his side’s 3-0 victory with Bury on March 1 last year.
But he knows a tough challenge is in store if he wants to repeat that feat tomorrow when he returns with a squad which also includes Niall Canavan, the 21-year-old who made four loan appearances for Shrewsbury in 2011.
“I know them and it’s a great club for running itself really well within a budget,” he said.
“The facilities are fantastic and they deserve to have been promoted.
“They’ve been close a lot of times and this year they’ve done it, but I think he (Graham Turner) knows this is a different league.
“Without being disrespectful, the difference between League Two and One is huge.
“When I was in Two I used to watch League One games and didn’t think it, but it is.
“It takes a lot to be outstanding week in, week out at home and they’ll come up against a lot of challenges.”
Knill also has the utmost respect for Turner as he prepares to go head-to-head with one of English football’s most enduring figures.
“I know the manager really well, he’s a great bloke, a real football man and has done a great job at Shrewsbury,” Knill added.
“He’s a proper football man and I’ve got nothing but respect for him.
“We know the players too. It’s quite a tough place to go.
“They’ve come up so they have some momentum and it will be a tough game.
“But they’re probably thinking it’s a tough game for them as well. They see our team and our squad and, irrelevant of the results, they’ve probably seen some of the performances and they’ll be thinking, ‘they’re OK these and sooner or later it’s going to change for them’.
“We’re quite sure that’s going to happen and we’re hopeful it’s going to be tomorrow.”Subscribe to our Newsletter