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Match Previews

Swindon Preview - a closer look at our season opener

27 July 2022

Match Previews

Swindon Preview - a closer look at our season opener

27 July 2022

Town are back in action this weekend with Swindon Town the visitors to The Envirovent Stadium for the first fixture of the 2022/23 EFL season.

There has been plenty of change at the club during a summer that has so far seen ten new arrivals and 11 members of the 2021/22 squad departing. Like the previous two seasons since earning promotion to the EFL, Simon Weaver will be hoping his side make another good start to the league campaign.

Our opponents

Swindon Town were a penalty kick away from reaching the playoff final last season. A late run saw them finish sixth in the table, but they exited to eventual playoff winners Port Vale in a shootout.

The off-season has seen plenty of change at the club following their playoff loss. Manager Ben Garner departed after just a season in charge, moving to League One side Charlton. A further blow for the Robins was the fact that key members of last season's squad in Jojo Wollacott, Jack Payne and Mandela Egbo also left to join Garner at The Valley.

They also saw Dion Conroy, Ryan East and Akin Odimayo leave to join League Two rival clubs but have added the likes of Ciaran Brennan, Tyreese Shade, Tom Clayton and Reece Devine.

Last season

The Robins had the upper hand in last season's encounters. Town were unfortunate not to get all three points at The County Ground when a late Jack Payne penalty cancelled out Jack Diamond's first-half strike.

However, in the return fixture a brace apiece from Louie Barry and Josh Davison saw Swindon run out 4-1 winners at The Envirovent Stadium.

The man in charge

Scott Lindsey is the new man in the dugout for Swindon, having stepped up from the coaching staff following Garner's departure.

Lindsey had arrived at the club in the summer of 2021 following the arrival of Garner having been manager at Chatham Town. He had previously been on the coaching staff at Forest Green Rovers.

Prior to his coaching career Lindsey played for a number of non-league sides, most notably Canvey Island and Dover as well as having a stint in the EFL with Gillingham.

Ones to watch

Despite the new arrivals the key man for Swindon will be forward Harry McKirdy. The 25 year-old year-old had a breakout season in 2021/22, netting 23 goals and being named to the League Two team of the season.

The club will be hoping for big things from the trio of Shade, Clayton and Devine, who arrived from Leicester, Liverpool and Manchester United respectively.

Experienced defender Angus MacDonald arrived from Rotherham whilst Welsh international Jonny Williams and Louis Reed are expected to be key parts of their midfield.

History

The Robins were formed as Swindon AFC back in 1879 before settling on Swindon Town in 1883.

Initially members of the Western and Southern League they were elected to the Football League in 1920, beginning in the third tier before securing their first promotion in 1963 to Division Two.

The club shocked Arsenal in the 1969 League Cup final to secure their first major trophy, but suffered subsequent relegations to end up back in the bottom division in the early 1980's.

With former Manchester United player Lou Macari at the helm the club earned back to back promotions in the mid-1980's to return to the Division Two but were denied a further promotion in 1990 due to breaching Football League regulations.

Future Chelsea and England manager Glenn Hoddle finally took Town to the top flight in 1993 but they were relegated at the first attempt before suffering a second successive relegation a season later. Although immediately bouncing back they were relegated again in 2000 and have remained in the bottom two divisions over the past two decades.

Team news

Defenders Rory McArdle and Will Smith begin the season on the sidelines as they continue their recovery from injuries that saw them miss the end of the 2021/22 season, along with Josh Falkingham, though the Skipper is closest of the three to a return to action.

It was confirmed on Thursday that new signing Max Wright will also miss our season opener having been ruled out for up to four months with an ankle injury.

Ticket Information
 

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