A change in narrative this season for STFC - a column by Alfie Howlett

By Swindon Link - 29 October 2021

Sport

It feels as if something special is beginning to brew at the County Ground.

With every victory the team is issuing a statement of intent to the division. 

A Swindon side which many expected to struggle in its aim to stay in the league is now flourishing. All they need to do is take their form on the road into home games and who knows how far they can go.

After back to back derby wins in October the narrative around Swindon's season changed. As football fans we can all be greedy and hungry for success. After turning over early pace setters Forest Green at their own patch with several key players missing I thought perhaps just surviving in this league would be an underachievement. The big question going into this season was just how long it would take Ben Garner to gel this new look squad into a team. We all knew looking at some of the calibre of players we signed that they were too good for fighting relegation. But we also knew that with virtually no pre- season and very little time on the training ground things would take time to click. But in recent weeks some of the football in spells has been sensational and as the season goes on I can only see it getting better which will translate to consistent performances and results.

Another reason why I expect Swindon to be right up there this season is down to the quality in this league. This season I can't see one team who will particularly run away with the title. I feel as if compared to previous seasons the quality of opponent is weak. So far there hasn't been a single team visiting SN1 that has wowed me. In this league all you have to do in order to win games of football is do the basics right and be organised. That's why I'd like to nominate Port Vale as one of 4 teams I believe will secure promotion. However, everything can change in league 2 if you put together a run of results. As Bolton showed last season where they went from 20th in February to 3rd at the end of the season.

One reason behind the Robins recent joy is the reintroduction of Harry McKirdy following his injury. In my opinion McKirdy could be the perfect foil for Tyreece Simpson. Although naturally a winger the deployment of McKirdy as part of a front 2 alongside Simpson has already reaped rewards. The 24-year-old is always busy in front of goal and is more than willing to have a shot and take on opponents with his dribbling. After already scoring more goals this season than last, the former Aston Villa academy man is feeling right at home in this side. Off the pitch Mckirdy has developed into a fan favourite with his unique personality. Hopefully for both parties this will be the season where he really lays down some roots and stakes a claim to play week in week out. 

 

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