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Spotlight on the Opposition | Swindon Town

14 January 2022

We finally return to league action this weekend at Vale Park welcoming 5th placed Swindon

In the Dugout

Swindon Town boss Ben Garner started his coaching career at Crystal Palace in 2005 as Academy coach before becoming First Team coach seven years later.

He moved onto West Bromwich Albion and ATK in India before getting his first management job at Bristol Rovers in December 2019. He lasted less than a year in charge and was sacked in November 2020. He was appointed manager of Swindon Town in July 2021.

Garner on tomorrow’s game “We can learn from the last game, but we're both at different stages now. We've assessed what they've done recently, they've had a Covid outbreak as well, so that changes things. Darrell's teams are always intense with and without the ball, but we've got a way of playing that we believe in”.

Man with the Armband

25-year-old Dion Conroy captains the Robins in his sixth season for the club. In his youth career he had a short spell with Fulham before moving onto Chelsea where he spent ten years of his career including one year as a professional but did not make an appearance.

Instead, he was sent out on loan to Aldershot in 2016 before making a permanent move to Swindon from Chelsea in January 2017.

This season, Conroy has been an important part of the Swindon Town defence helping to keep six clean sheets and has started the last two games after missing the previous two.

Star Man

Forward Harry McKirdy began his youth career at Stoke City but later moved to Aston Villa in 2011. The 24-year-old never made a professional appearance for Villa, instead going out on loan to Stevenage, Crewe Alexandra and Newport County before permanently signing for Carlisle United in 2019. A year later he arrived at Vale Park making eight appearances and left in the summer of 2021.

With 11 goals this season he is Swindon’s top goal scorer. McKirdy has scored six goals in his last three games and most notably netting four times in a 5-2 home win over Northampton Town. He also picked up a consolation goal against Manchester City in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup making it 4-1.

Last time out and recent form

The Robins have lost three, drawn and lost once in their last five games. The draw came against 21st placed Stevenage in a goalless affair and as previously mentioned they got a huge win over Northampton. The three defeats came against Barrow, Manchester City in the Emirates FA Cup and Mansfield Town.

Mansfield opened the scoring after just four minutes through George Maris. McKirdy would level the scores on 28 minutes before a Stephen McLaughlin penalty and a Jordan Bowery goal gave the Stags a two-goal lead at halftime. Ellis Iandolo pulled one back a minute from time but the three points stayed in Mansfield.


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