Throughout this week our writers reveal their hopes and expectations for Swindon Town in League One during 2012/13. Before Daniel Hunt provides his match report for yesterday’s encounter with Brighton & Hove Albion, read his view on the season ahead…
Hopes and expectations for the season: If Swindon can harness the momentum gained from winning League 2 and hit the ground the running in League One, then I see a top six finish to be a realistic expectation.
Seven quality signings have been added to an already capable squad – such a contrast to this time last year where for every gem like McCormack, there were three duds like Atiku, Comazzi and Esajas. What is most notable is the change of transfer policy; Di Canio’s shown patience, bought British and sought experience. Collins and Archibald-Henville are the only new signings under the age of 25.
Signing of the summer: From what i’ve seen against Weston, Forest Green, Supermarine and Palace, Andy Williams has been the most impressive new signing. It’s odd that only two pre-season goals have followed for the former Yeovil man but it’s his all round forward play that’s impressed me.
Taller than I was expecting with a deceptive turn of pace, here’s hoping that Williams has used up all of his bad luck – striking the woodwork no less than four times against Supermarine and Palace – before Town take the field against Brighton! August 14th is his 26th birthday coincidently.
Who will be the key player for STFC in 12/13 and why? Tough one this. Honourable mentions go to Matt Ritchie, Alan McCormack and Paul Benson but I’m going to plump for Simon Ferry as the key player for 2012/2013.
He’s excelled in League One before alongside Jonathan Douglas and played a key part in last season’s promotion, making 54 appearances. Di Canio wants to beat teams playing football and Ferry provides that extra bit of craft to unlock more stubborn defences in a higher league. Simon is loved by all for playing with a smile on his face but Swindon’s newest father has grown up and is ready to take on more responsibility, as shown by his brief stints as captain this pre-season.
STFC Predicted Final Position: 4th – beating Danny Wilson’s Sheffield United 8-7 on penalties in the play-off final at Wembley! Putting to bed Swindon’s recent Wembley hoodoo and thus extending Wilson’s! Sorry Danny but you shouldn’t have kept faith with Prutton for so long!
League One Promoted: Milton Keynes Dons (begrudgingly), Coventry City and Swindon Town. My mum’s side of the family are from Coventry so it would be a sweet double.
League One Relegated: Bury, Portsmouth, Leyton Orient and Oldham Athletic.