The final ramblings of the season from BBC Devon’s Vic Morgan.
So that’s it for another season then. There we were back in August welcoming a new campaign with a 3-0 home win over Crewe and now in May it’s passed in a blur.
Its had more than the fair share of ups and downs. After that initial up against the other railwaymen, there were quite a few downs before the march to title glory.
You can hear a longer review of the season on the latest Washbag podcast, but I think every Town fan will agree it’s been a season unlike any other. That’s due to the influence of one man of course, the ringmaster himself Paolo Di Canio.
Has any manager had as much impact on a club and a community as this man has ? He arrived at the County Ground when everyone was at a low ebb, and here we are brimming with confidence. His secret ? Passion yes, but also a willingness to throw himself into the task and give everything to the club and fans he works for.
Last Saturday was a prime example. It’s not often you come away from a goalless draw with some great memories. One of the most emotional minute silences I can ever remember paying tribute to the victims of the Bradford fire disaster. The genuine applause by the Town fans for the title winning members of the Bradford City disabled football team, and then the after match celebrations.
This is when we saw Di Canio at his best. Not only taking the acclaim of the fans but organising his team so they would “Stand up for the Champions”, the fans. Terrific, even now I’m going misty eyed thinking about it. If you were there you’ll know exactly what I mean, if you weren’t watch it on Youtube its terrific.
After you’ve watched that video, then find Di Canio sings Toploader. Now here he is prepared to lay himself open and “sing” with a top pop combo in front of thousands of fans. It’s pure theatre and everyone loved it. Another moment when every Swindon fan who witnessed it, was chuffed to bits he’s manager of our club.
So we feel good about life at the moment and rightly so. We can have a long summer break and keep ourselves occupied during the summer months, watching cricket, mowing the lawn, cowering under the umbrella, looking forward to life again in League One.
For me this is when the club needs to progress. We’re back where we were 12 months ago, and now we need to make strides towards the Championship. I’m going to be realistic and say a top ten finish would be great next season. I’m not sure PDC would be happy with that, but the team has to be right before it makes the next step. However if promotion comes along again, they hey that’s okay too.
One thing we must all do is say thank you to the Swindon Town board, without whom this season wouldn’t have been possible. They’ve obviously decided to back the boss and give him the leeway to make a few mistakes along the way. That shows good judgement, and hopefully will pay dividends now he has a years experience under his belt. So Jeremy Wray, we thank you and wish you a speedy recovery from your illness.
Now its a case of waiting for the middle of June to see which Tuesday we travel to Carlisle on, and who we meet on the opening day, Boxing Day etc. For now though, I’m looking forward to the rest and I wont miss the motorway food.
My thanks also to Ron for allowing me to “ramble on”…great Led Zeppelin track that by the way, every week on this website, and I hope I might get the chance again next season.
In the meantime have a great summer and keep it loud, keep it proud and always keep it SWINDON.