A change-up for STFC's next season

By Alfie Howlett - 20 June 2022

Clubs & ActivitiesSport

A monthly column from Swindon Link STFC correspondent Alfie Howlett.

If my 10 years of supporting Swindon has taught me anything it's that there's no such thing as a quiet summer at the County Ground.

What should be a time of rest and recuperation often turns into a time of uncertainty and change. Unfortunately the summer of 2022 will be no different.

After the heartbreak of the play-offs, all attention at SN1 quickly turned to going one better the following season.

With Ben Garner at the helm for pre-season, Swindon could build upon their already solid foundations. And with the transfer embargo lifted, director of football Ben Chorley could work his magic. The start of pre-season couldn't have come soon enough.

Fast forward a few weeks and in typical Swindon fashion it had all fallen apart. Ben Garner - poached by Charlton Athletic. Ben Chorley - departed. And once again just like this time last year and so many other times, Swindon had a blank canvas to start again from.

As I'm writing this Swindon's search for a new gaffer is ongoing. It's looking as if the new man will be a young, hungry coach with a lot to prove in the game.

Whoever finds themselves in the hot seat, for the first pre-season match at Supermarine, will find themselves with a tough task. A tough task that could prove highly rewarding.

The new gaffer will find a stable football club rather than a broken football club.

Thanks to Clem Morfuni, off the pitch Swindon are in a good place.

The new manager will inherit a competitive playing budget with the debt clearing and the embargo lifted. This will be crucial for Town with certain areas requiring strengthening. None more so than defensively.

With Swindon scoring the most goals in the league last season it tells you all you need to know regarding where the problem is.

If Town are to come again next season then it's imperative that they have two solid and experienced centre halves to call upon.

However, fortunately for Town, they will have the services of top scoring talisman Harry McKirdy to call upon.

Last season was the best of McKirdy's career with the 25-year-old bagging 23 goals and providing several champagne moments. And after missing his penalty in "that" shootout, Swindon's main man will have that fire in his belly to right his wrongs and go from strength to strength.

Although it ended sourly I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Ben Garner for his time at the helm. Under Garner Swindon had a memorable season that they never expected, with it ending one spot kick away from a place at Wembley.

However, in my opinion, his greatest strength was undoubtedly his greatest weakness.

Garner admirably believed in his philosophy of playing attacking football. However, when it didn't work, his stubbornness to change often cost Swindon.

Nonetheless Swindon will begin pre-season without Garner and once again a new chapter. It just wouldn't be the Swindon way if something drastic didn't happen. And that's why I love this club.

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