New season, new team for Swindon Town Football Club

By Jessica Durston - 27 July 2022

Sport

A monthly column from Swindon Link's STFC correspondent Alfie Howlett.

The wait is finally over, football is back!

After a long pre-season, Swindon will kick off their 2022/23 League 2 season on 30 July at Harrogate.

It will see a new manager in the Town dugout as well as plenty of new faces in the famous red shirt.

So what exactly can we expect from Swindon and their rivals this season?

The appointment of Scott Lindsey raised many eyebrows. Especially when the former assistant was already under the club's nose as they spent weeks searching for a new number 1.

It's since become clear that the 50-year-old was appointed with a clear plan in mind.

Lindsey is widely regarded to be an excellent coach with an impeccable work ethic. His appointment has also been popular among many first team players - with Lindsey being a key cog in last seasons success.

With Lindsey now in the hot seat the recruitment appears very closely intertwined.

To date, Town has invested heavily in bringing in younger players with the potential to develop under Lindesy.

This in turn will allow Swindon to become sustainable as they sell on their assets for a tidy profit. There have already been some promising incomings such as ex Liverpool under 23 captain Tom Clayton.

However, it must be mentioned that despite their potential, these younger players are unproven at
this level. Younger players also bring inconsistency in performances over the course of a season.

Therefore, like the manager these signings are gambles. However, despite the uncertainty Swindon fans can be assured that there will still be certainty. In Jonny Williams, Ben Gladwin, Louis Reed, Lewis Ward, Ellis Iandolo, Harry McKirdy and Mathieu Baudry, Swindon can boast of some of the best players in the league.

These players will be vital pillars in this new-look Swindon squad. It's fair to say that on paper Swindon could have a really exciting squad on their hands.

However, it must be remembered that football is played on grass not paper.

So what can we expect from the other 23 teams? To begin with I believe that this season will be far more competitive than last season. The bookmakers currently have Stockport County as favourites for the title. County won the National League last season and it's fair to say that the Hatters could enjoy a promotion bounce.

With several quality players including Antoni Sarecevic Stockport could be a real force. Elsewhere the legend that is Mark Hughes could be the man to awake the sleeping giant that is Bradford City.

Beaten playoff finalists, Mansfield, will look to go again under Nigel Clough. Northampton, who suffered at the hands of Bristol Rovers' final day miracle, will aim to go one better. Then from the outside looking in I believe that Leyton Orient, Newport and Tranmere will also be in the mix.

Swindon find themselves sixth favourites. However, I believe that they will finish just outside the play-offs.

But until a ball is kicked nothing is really known. Especially when it comes to Swindon Town.

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