A welcome to John Goddard

Steven Fyfe profiles Town’s first new signing for the 2016/17 season, ex-Reading midfielder, John Goddard…

Swindon Town have acted quickly in announcing the first addition to their ranks ahead of the 2016/17 season with the news that Woking midfielder John Goddard has signed a three year deal. Having done a little research I am very hopeful the newest arrival at SN1 has all the attributes required to be another gem picked up from non-league.

On the pitch, the former Reading academy player finished Woking’s top scorer with 20 goals. The 22 year old has also gained experience with Hayes and Yeading since his release from Reading and judging from the YouTube clips his eye for goal, vision, awareness and willingness to run at opponents are going to be vital elements of the Town attack next year. We have all learnt in the past not to judge players solely on YouTube of course, but he does look a talent. We also have a decent recent track with Reading academy players, including Simon Cox and Charlie Austin.

I spoke to Woking fan and founder of everythingwokingfc.com Jacob Greenwood who said of Goddard that he is a “winger who can play either side and likes to cut in and shoot. Has had Conference defenders on toast this year”.

I also spoke to Maidenhead fan Jake who gave me the following review of Goddard “Watched him a few times, very good player. Very good passer of the ball, loves to get forward and a very good dribbler”.

Off the pitch is where my optimism for the young man grows. He strikes me as focussed, professional and down to earth which only bodes well for what is the madhouse of Swindon Town.

Upon his release from Reading, Goddard was to turn to social media to sell himself. He used YouTube to highlight his talents, from where Hayes and Yeading picked him up.

After a year in non-league, he was to seek higher opportunities and was interviewed by Get West London after a trial game for Woking in which he scored two goals. Despite his tender age he gave what I thought were so very wise and respectful comments such as “I was a pro when they (Reading) won the Championship but I got released unfortunately and spent last year at Hayes and Yeading. I got some experience down there and some first team games and I think I am stronger for it.”

On the progression for released players back into the Football League, Goddard commented “You see it a lot with young players these days – they need to step down before going back up and they come back stronger with a different mentality. I definitely learned a lot from my time in the Conference South and hopefully that will hold me in good stead”.

So he’s clearly a man with one eye on the future, but the other notable aspect to Goddard is that his list of interests and activities outside of playing football make him very knowledgeable about the game. He has the following coaching qualifications and experience already:

  • Academy coach at Reading (under 9s).
  • Nearly 18 months coaching at Pro Direct Soccer Academy.
  • UEFA B License
  • Pro Direct Soccer Apprenticeship.
  • FA Coaching Level 2.
  • BTEC in Sports Excellence – Reading FC apprenticeship.
  • He is also the owner of Core Football Coaching

A side note to all of these things – he also speaks Spanish…

Continuing to look into the mental side of his personality, he released a statement to Woking via his Twitter after signing for Town. Not unnatural I know, but I found the words very respectful to his former club.

“I’m so happy to have joined Swindon Town FC but need to thank to all the supporters, staff and players at Woking FC. Your support has been incredible since I joined and I have been proud to represent the club. I now look forward to the next challenge in my career but will not forget the help and support you have given me. I wish everyone involved at the club all the very best, and will be cheering you on from a distance”.

All things considered I am very hopeful this is the first of many good quality signings we see this summer. Welcome aboard, John.

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