With home gates ranking the 2nd highest in League 2 so far this campaign (approaching 9,000), we can probably expect a full house of away fans for the visit of Swindon Town FC.
Swindon’s start to this season has been pretty solid – 4 wins, 4 draws and 2 defeats sees them 5th in the league, 7 points behind Rovers. Their last 5 outings have been away draws at Northampton & Stevenage, a home draw against Colchester and a home loss to Port Vale, so the Robins were keen to get a result last time out against Bristol Rovers. They came from behind to win 3-1 – they have yet to suffer an away loss this season (both of their defeats have come at home).
Swindon have scored 12 times and conceded 8 this season. Only Tranmere and Colchester have managed to stop Swindon scoring in a game so far (goaless draws on both occasions). Most of Swindon’s goals have come from their 19 year-old Ipswich loanee, Tyreece Simpson, and their midfielder Jack Payne, who have scored 3 and 4 times respectively. Tyreece Simpson turned down a professional rugby contract to follow a career in football so may be well used to the physical side of the game!
Tyreece Simpson, on loan from Ipswich, has scored 3 times for Swindon this season.
Midfielder Jack Payne, who came from Lincoln in 2020, has netted 4 times this season (2 of them penalties).
Swindon’s manager, Ben Garner, was appointed 17 days before the start of the season, at a time when Town only had 8 contracted players. The Swindon view is that Garner has improved Swindon’s defensive play significantly with a decent partnership at the back between captain Dion Conroy and Romoney Crichlow (on loan from Huddersfield). Scoring goals has been a bit of an issue for Swindon – only averaging about 1 a game and only scoring more than one goal twice this season (a 3-1 win over Scunthorpe and a 3-1 victory at Bristol Rovers). Some feel that Garner is quite conservative in his set-ups and Swindon are likely to be set up as either 4-2-3-1 or 3-4-2-1. However, they were a more adventurous 5-3-2 formation in their last outing against Bristol Rovers.
Swindon fans view their better players as Louis Reed, Jojo Wollacott and Jack Payne – all of whom tend to go about their business quietly. The hope is that loanees Kaine Kesler-Hayden (Aston Villa), Alex Gilbert (Brentford) and Tyreece Simpson (Ipswich), if they play to their full ability, will catch the eye.
Former Bristol Rovers manager Ben Garner is now in charge of Swindon
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 ‘redbreasted’ kit) is also the nickname of Cheltenham Town and Bristol City.
Former Swindon managers include numerous well-known names. These include former England manager Glenn Hoddle, the ex Man Utd striker Lou Macari, Tottenham’s Argentine playmaker Ossie Ardiles, West Ham’s Paolo Di Cannio and Chelsea’s Dennis Wise.
Paulo di Canio
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.
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!).
Swindon itself is famous as a railway town (The GWR railway museum is worth the visit, next to the 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!
The Magic Roundabout shortly after its opening with the County Ground behind.
The current organization retains the legal name of Forest Green Rovers Supporters Society Ltd, with the popular name of Forest Green Rovers Supporters Club, and is constituted as Co-operative and Community Benefit Society Society. We continue to invest in FGR and remain an important focal point for supporters to demonstrate their support for Forest Green Rovers Football Club.