In a surprising announcement at 10:00 am on Monday, Town unveiled their new … manager on a two-year contract.
The surprise wasn’t it was Michael Flynn, that information leaked on Sunday afternoon on social media, but the speed of the appointment.
Which is warmly welcomed by everyone, and a change in direction with the managerial set-up at SN1.
In the statement, Swindon Town owner and chairman Clem Morfuni speaks about Michael Flynn as a manager, not the head coach.
This would be a change in role, but despite this, I still expect the club to hire a Director of Football for the new season to help the management team in scouting and recruitment with Flynn having the final say, a change from the 22/23 season.
On the appointment itself, I made it clear I would’ve preferred Darrell Clarke, with him having achieved promotion twice from League Two but Flynn also has an impressive CV with two playoff final appearances and impressive performances in the F. A Cup, both with Newport County.
His time at Walsall does worry me, as despite the injury list he had to deal with, the club’s record under him from Christmas time makes for painful reading, and he will also bring a different style of football to the club, which the Town faithful wouldn’t have seen for a while.
Overall, he’s a good appointment and someone who the fans can all get behind going into a new season the, club now needs to announce if there are plans for a director of football or technical director or if Flynn has total control over every aspect of the club.
DTF Player of the Season
With the dust now settling on the 2022/23 season, it’s time to look back and focus on the players who stood out the most amongst his teammates and which young players made their mark in the first team in this campaign.
It’s hard to see the past ten months as anything but a failure on multiple fronts, from the appointment of the Head Coaches and Technical Director to the recruitment and strategy put in place by the owner and high-ups at the club.
But amongst the mess at the County Ground, there have been some positives to take away, let’s start by looking at some contenders for the Player of the Season award.
Normally, when you have a season of underachievement or relegation, it’s tough to find one name, let alone a few who could take the prize home with them.
In contention, we have Sol Brynn, who has enjoyed an impressive first season-long loan in English football and has triumphed with flying colours. He has made the odd mistake, but overall, he’s been superb and has a big future.
Left-back turned centre-back Frazer Blake-Tracey, has been one of the most consistent performers this season, whether asked to play down the left or be the linchpin in the heart of the defence, having him signed up for next season will be highly important moving forwards.
Former Welsh International Jonny Williams enjoyed a superb season personally as he found himself at the World Cup over the winter and finished top scorer for the season at Town. He often looked a cut above those around him on the pitch, with it looking likely he’s moving on; he’ll be sorely missed.
Despite having several players to pick this season, this most coveted of awards goes to the most consistent and talented member of the current squad, and that is Remeao Hutton.
When the 24-year-old was signed for an undisclosed fee in July last year from Barrow, not much was known about the right-back, but the Town faithful quickly came to realize, what the full-back was capable of.
As he not only made a difference at the back, but his skill set mainly belongs on the attack, as he assisted 12 goals throughout the season, the sort of numbers you’d be used to witnessing in the Premier League but not in Division Four.
The highlight of these assists came in the home game at Grimsby, not because of the cross necessarily, which was pinpoint, but the significance of the moment as Charlie Austin headed home his first goal back.
He does have work to do over the summer, on improving his defending as he did find himself struggling at times with his positioning and closing down the winger, but that will come in time.
The only downside in his impressive first season is the list of potential suiters.
With him having one year left on his current deal, Town could receive a decent bid and find it hard to turn down, but if we are to progress next season, we need to keep hold of Remeao and our best players.
DTF Young Player of the Season
(To qualify, a player needs to be 21 or under)
When it came down to the Young Player of the Season, it was between two talented players who should go on to have long careers in the game.
Just missing out on the prize is defender Harrison Minturn, who has enjoyed a first full season as a professional, the 19-year-old is still very much learning his game and adapting to life in the Football League, but it’s clear we have an exciting young centre back on our hands.
But taking the prize is 21-year-old Jacob Wakeling who has been one of the best pieces of business done last summer when he arrived on a free transfer from Leicester City.
The young striker burst onto the scene scoring four goals in his opening nine games, but with the club signing Luke Jephcott on loan from Plymouth, he was moved to the right-hand side of a front three and was never as prolific, scoring just one goal in his next twenty-two games.
Despite the goals drying up, he still maintained a high level of performance and made 46 appearances over the season in all competitions scoring eight goals.
Hopefully, the new Head Coach will find a place in his team for the talented striker.
Finally, I wanted to thank everyone for reading ‘Dan the Fan’ this season, it’s not been a classic campaign, but it’s had some enjoyable moments. Have a great summer, and I look forward to seeing you next season.