Karl Hawley keen to get more Scunthorpe United goals as he prepares to face former club Notts County
KARL Hawley loves a reunion. When it involves their hard-working striker, so too do Scunthorpe United.
Hawley, a veteran of more than 300 league appearances, has had almost as many clubs as a golfer since making his debut as a teenager at Walsall – a large chunk of whom currently ply their trade in League One.
The 31-year-old has played in eight matches against his former teams this season.
From a personal point of view, some have been better than others – with goals at home to Preston North End and away at Carlisle United, the club where Hawley has enjoyed the most prolific form of his career, the highlights.
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Collectively, Scunthorpe have fared much better. Hawley's matches against old clubs have seen only one defeat and five victories.
Saturday's trip to Notts County, in which the Iron will be searching for much-needed points in their battle against relegation, may be perfectly timed.
"It'll be a great game for me to play in," Hawley told the Telegraph, reflecting on two-and-a-half years at Meadow Lane, a spell which came to an end when he was released at the end of last season.
"I'll get some stick there, but it's good to go back to a club where you've been, regardless of the amount of time you spend there.
"There's quite a few clubs I've played at that are in League One, so I've been back to a few places and I've done quite well. Hopefully, if selected, I can do well against Notts County.
"Obviously I'd love us to go there and get three points first and foremost. I'd love to get a goal as well.
"But there is no more incentive for me than there is every other Saturday.
"I just want to go out there, give 100 per cent and help the team get the win. That's all it is about."
In his six months at Scunthorpe, Hawley has started only 10 games fewer than he managed with the Magpies, where a regular run in the team was rarely forthcoming.
"I didn't really play at Notts County last season, no more than probably half of the season anyway," said Hawley, who also counts Crawley Town and Colchester United among his former clubs.
"I was always out on the left or right of midfield and while I can play there, my preferred position is as a striker."
Hawley has already scored more goals than he did at Meadow Lane.
He has seven for the season – the highest return out of any of the current members of the Iron squad – but the last of those strikes was the one at another former stomping ground, Brunton Park, Carlisle, at the end of January.
Hawley should have netted against Coventry City last weekend, when he ran into the penalty area, evaded a visiting challenge and knocked the ball past Sky Blues keeper Joe Murphy, but he could only roll the ball against the outside of the post, albeit from the tightest of angles.
It typified the striker's and the Iron's fortunes in front of goal, something he says he must change.
"I know I'm not scoring enough goals. I know I can score more," Hawley added.
"It can be hard if you're playing as a lone striker, but if you get a sniff at goal you've got to make it count.
"With Sodj playing alongside me, I think we do quite well. He's obviously scored five goals, but playing alongside someone gives defenders someone else to think about.
"I'm enjoying playing, but I think I can do a lot better. There's more to come from me and there's more to come from the team as well.
"Everyone in an attacking sense has to be looking to add to their tally. That's as a team and for me personally too."