A monthly column from Swindon Link's STFC correspondent Alfie Howlett.
My previous column posed an important question - who is to blame for Swindon’s poor season? Jody Morris or Sandro Di Michele?
The Swindon board have since decided that both men are culprits with the two being dismissed.
As is so often the case in football one man’s loss is another man’s gain and this time the opportunity has fallen to Michael Flynn to become the 24th Swindon manager since 2001. There’s an array of reasons why I believe the Welshman will be one of the more shrewd appointments of this century.
The initial reason sounds simple but I assure you it is the most important. Flynn understands the demands of League 2.
For the first time in a while Swindon have appointed a manager with pedigree in this division. What Michael Flynn achieved in his first job at Newport is simply incredible.
Taking over an Exiles side 11 points from safety and destined for the drop, Flynn won seven of 12 games to seal survival with a game to go. The 42-year-old would build upon that, as his first full season at the helm saw him mastermind the giant killing of Leeds United in the FA Cup.
The following season Flynn continued to defy the odds as he and Newport dumped former Premier League winners Leicester City out of the FA cup, while in the league County fell just short of promotion in the play-off final at Wembley. In his final full seasons, Flynn once again guided Newport to the play-off final where they were agonisingly denied in extra time. All of these feats were achieved on a shoestring.
Another reason I believe Flynn will be a strong appointment is due to his personality.
Within hours of being hired, the Welshman was on the pitch to introduce himself to the fans. In a brief interview he made a greater interaction with the Swindon faithful than his predecessors, since Richie Wellens.
Now again it sounds simple, but Flynn didn’t have to address the supporters. But in his words, he ‘gained an impression that he will forge a real connection with fans.’ This connection could be vital to push for promotion.
STFC are a big club and in order for this to be utilised everyone must come together as one. I believe that Flynn is capable of bringing everyone together - making Swindon a whole. This has been sorely missed of late with the atmosphere at home games being no better example.
Lastly I feel as if Flynn’s intelligence is worth mentioning. Researching his background, I was impressed with what I read. To begin with he’s a holder of a UEFA Pro Licence, which is the highest coaching certification available in Europe.
While earning his licence, he worked alongside football elite in Mikel Arteta and Thierry Henry. Interestingly, the Welshman is also friends with Pep Guardiola and has received an invite to Liverpool training from Jurgen Klopp.
Off the pitch Flynn holds a 2:1 BA degree in Sports Journalism and Media Law. This adds further substance to why he is the ideal appointment.
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