STFC's Summer clear-out: Town correspondent Alfie Howlett delivers his verdict

By Alfie Howlett - 30 May 2024


The clear-out has already begun at SN1 with 11 players released. However, at the moment, there are no signs of new tenants. The County Ground feels unoccupied.

There were very few surprises that Swindon decided to part ways with the bulk of the squad that took them to their lowest finish in history. A clean slate was required for all parties. Although, at the time of writing, there has been a concerningly slow speed to grab this fresh start.

 I’ve mentioned it in a previous column, but Swindon have known from at least March that they had a big rebuild on their hands. Therefore, it would’ve made sense to start or plan towards that rebuild before the end of the season.

 Realistically, at a club with wired up thinking, you’d only sign players once the manager is in place. This might well be behind the lack of activity at Swindon right now. However, again, if a manager had been in place to take over at the end of the previous season, it’s likely that the transfers would also have been lined up. 

This would’ve allowed Town to get the ball rolling sooner and make serious strides towards rectifying their mess. But it’s through simple shortcomings like this that owner Clem Morfuni has and will continue to lose the faith of supporters.

 So, what do Swindon need following their retained list? 'Quite a lot' is the answer. They can begin as always in defence. Swindon had the third leakiest defence in the division last season. And at the moment they have just three centre backs on the books. It’s stating the obvious but they should really sign a centre half with a wealth of experience to organise the back line.

 I would also like to see a combative defensive midfielder. For me, Swindon failed to ever replace Anthony Grant. They need a player in that sort of mould who can consistently each week protest their defence. 

Potentially, free agent Nnamdi Ofoborh could fill this void should he choose to put pen to paper with Town, following an encouraging end to the 23/24 season.

 Going forward, Swindon need a winger. Not since Harry McKirdy in his first spell have Town had a wide man who can excite and get fans off their seat. An entertainer would be great but also someone who can contribute statistically. Perhaps The Robins might even look at bringing McKirdy back for a second loan spell from Hibernian as he continues to rebuild his fitness. This would no doubt be a popular move amongst the Swindon faithful.

 Lastly, with Charlie Austin’s departure, an experienced number nine would work a treat. 

This would help share the load and assist Aaron Drinan, whom I think deserves a shot at leading the line next season. After joining from Leyton Orient in January, the 26-year-old demonstrated in an underperforming team that when chances are created, he can take them. In my opinion his most impressive attribute was his hold up play.

 So that’s my wish list. But when it comes to Swindon you can often be left like a kid on Christmas morning staring at an empty tree. 


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