Local derby revisited

Swindon Town come to Nailsworth for this Tuesday evening kick off with our closest geographical rivals in League 2.  It’s the first derby between the clubs since April 2022.

Swindon are one of the best supported sides in League 2 with average gates last season of more than 9,000.  Given this is an early season game, expect a big crowd for the match.

Swindon were due to start their league campaign away at Colchester on Saturday 5th Aug, but the game was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.  They began their campaign against Crewe at the County Ground on Saturday Aug 12th.  The match finished 2-2, with Jake Young & Udoka Godwin-Malife both on the scoresheet.

Summer transfers

So far, it has been more out than in at Swindon.  9 or 10 players have left the club so far.  New arrivals are detailed on the right.  In addition, just the other day, Udoka Godwin-Malife moved to Swindon (with Marcel Lavinier coming the other way).

Jake Young signed for Rovers in 2020 and has now moved from Bradford to Swindon.

Godwin-Malife's post-Cheltenham positivity | WE ARE FGR

‘Dokes’ has gone to Swindon.

Players in: 

Name  Club  Age  Pos.  Info 
Liam Kinsella  Free  27  CDM  Played 212 games for Walsall, scored 2 goals.  
Anton Dworzak (Return from loan)  Gloucester  18  CM  Hasn’t figured greatly in the squad.
Murphy Mahoney (Loan)  QPR B  21  GK  Played 2 games for QPR.
Daneil Kemp (Loan)  MK Dons  24  RW  Been around league 2 clubs (Stevenage, Leyton Orient, Hartlepool).  Started 16 games for  Hartlepool last season. 
Jake Young (Loan)  Bradford  22  ST  Ex FGR player, then went to Bradford but only played 7 games before being loaned to Barrow 

The Manager

Former midfielder Michael Flynn was appointed by the Robins in May 2023, just after the end of last season.  Born in Newport, Flynn started his playing career with Newport County in 1999, then returned to the club for his first position in management.  He managed Newport between 2017 and 2021 before his unexpected resignation.  In 2022 he was appointed manager of Walsall where, after initial promise, he was sacked in 2023 following a poor end of season for the Saddlers.

Michael Flynn was appointed Swindon boss in May.

Talismanic player

Charlie Austin had a 2 year spell at Swindon between 2009 and 2011.  He then moved on to Burnley, QPR (twice), Southampton & West Brom.  In 2022 he made 7 appearances for Brisbane Roar before Swindon re-signed him in December last year.  His 11 appearances for Swindon last season netted him 8 goals.

His manager sees Austin as the “figurehead” of the team and the club.  He is a fairly local lad (born in Hungerford) and, even though he is now 34, his striker’s instincts will make him a real threat.

Striker Charlie Austin.

The club

Swindon have played in all 4 of the top leagues. They were a Premiership side in 1994 (briefly!) but by 2006 they had become the first former Premiership side to be relegated to the lowest football league division.  Since 1921 Swindon have spent most of their time in the 3rd tier of the EFL.  The period between 1987 and 2000 was their peak, when they were in the 2nd tier apart from that one season in the Premiership.   Swindon have been in the 4th tier on 4 occasions, but their visits to this level have tended to be brief (twice promoted straight back up to the 3rd tier).  They won promotion in 2020 as champions of League 2, only to be relegated again after just one season.

Swindon’s nickname, The Robins (supposedly because of their ‘red-breasted’ kit) is also the nickname of Cheltenham Town and Bristol City.

Traditionally Swindon fans have considered their main rivals to be Oxford Utd (a feeling reciprocated by Oxford fans).  But these days it is Bristol Rovers and Forest Green that are likely to be the more immediate rivalries .

In 1951 Swindon became the first club in the league to install floodlights at their ground (at a cost of £350!).

Probably Swindon’s most famous son on the pitch was their outside left, Don Rogers.  Rogers scored the 2 extra time goals that won Swindon the 1969 Football League Cup against Arsenal.  One of the stands at The County Ground was named The Don Rogers Stand in 2008.

Don Rogers is probably Swindon’s most famous former player.

Famous former Swindon managers

Glenn Hoddle

Dennis Wise

Paulo di Canio

Ossie Ardiles

Lou Macari

The Town

Swindon itself is famous as a railway town (The GWR railway museum is worth a visit, as is the next-door Outlet Mall).  But many associate Swindon with another feature that sits right next to the County Ground.  The Magic Roundabout was constructed in 1972 and has confused locals (and especially American tourists) ever since!

These days Swindon is a big regional centre for business, and is home to many technological and pharmaceutical companies, as well as having national headquarters for international companies Nationwide, Intel, and Zurich.  The Wiltshire town is also home to the HQ of The National Trust.

The Magic Roundabout shortly after its opening with the County Ground behind.