We look South to preview the Robins
League 1 preview:
We now head south to preview Play-Off semi-finalists Swindon Town. The Robins had a busy 2012-2013 season, which saw former manager Paolo Di Canio resign in February and replaced by Kevin McDonald.
On the pitch after impressing early in the season and being amongst the leading pack in League 1 Swindon fell away in April, losing four out of their six fixtures.
The Robins secured the final Play-off place on the last day of the season.
Team: Swindon Town
Swindon will be eager to put the memories of last year behind them as they look to gain promotion to the Championship.
Swindon will be hoping that top goalscorer James Collins continues to score the goals in League 1 next season after the striker bagged 18.
Supplementing Collins up front last year were strikers Adam Rooney and Andy Williams, the pair scored 10 and 12 goals respectively and with the strike trio scoring 40 goals between them McDonald will be hoping they can continue.
Since the arrival of McDonald no fewer than eight first-team players have left the County Ground. 23-year-old defender Aden Flint has joined League 1 side Bristol City.
Defender Joe Devera has headed to the south coast to join Portsmouth, while 29-year-old winger Gary Roberts has dropped down to League 2 by joining Chesterfield.
As expected captain Alan McCormack has left the County Ground to join Vale’s first opponents of the season, Brentford.
Other players to be released are Italian forward Raffaele De Vita, Tommy Miller, Simon Ferry and 22-year-old defender Chris Smith.
So far no new players have joined McDonald’s side, however four Swindon U18s have graduated to the first-team squad. Aaron Oakley, Connor Waldon, Mark Francis and Alex Ferguson (no relation to the famous Scot) have all made the step up.
Manager: Kevin McDonald
Former Leicester City midfielder Kevin McDonald has made his first step into full-time management after having previous spells as caretaker manager for Leicester City and Aston Villa. McDonald was also the assistant manager for the Republic of Ireland but is better known for his work at Villa Park as assistant manager between 2003 and 2012.
The former Liverpool FA Cup winner has the experience to take Swindon up and will be hoping to stamp his authority on the club after taking the reins last season.
Key Man: James Collins
There’s no doubt that goals win you games and that is why Collins will be crucial to Swindon’s campaign.
The 22-year-old Irish striker has already played for five clubs in his short career but the Republic of Ireland Under 21 international started making strides in 2011 after scoring 16 goals for Shrewsbury before moving to Swindon Town last season where he better his goal tally by registering 18.
Expect him to cause a few problems when Swindon visit Vale Park in February
Promotion odds: 8/1