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Neil Godwin: The Next Episode

Started on 16 April 2022 by Jack
Latest Reply on 8 August 2022 by Justice
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James: It would be fair to say our finances are looking great for the next season, I would expect a good budget to work with regardless of which division we are in!
What an incredible run of form, the Manager of the Month accolade is deserved! Nice little 5-point buffer at the top, and a 10-point buffer on 4th place. With 5 games to go, I think promotion is in the bag, and it would take a McDonald-esque bottle job to fall into the playoff places.

DO NOT LET THAT HAPPEN :D

Robins’ FA Cup adventure ends at Wembley


Swindon Town’s outstanding FA Cup journey came to an end this evening as Chelsea won 5-0 at Wembley.

A 90,000 capacity crowd at Wembley saw the Champions League holders take apart the League Two leaders which saw Romelu Lukaku bag a hat-trick.

Christian Pulisic began the scoring in the 21st minute for the Blues, still being managed by interim boss Neil Bath. The American winger initially swung in a cross from a free-kick near the halfway line before it was headed back to him by Swindon defender Romoney Crichlow. Pulisic pounced on it again before beating Joe Wollacott at his near post.

Lukaku then began the first of his 9-minute hat-trick with a lobbed ball from Pulisic which the Belgian stuck low to Wollacott’s left-hand side.

A lapse in concentration at the back from Dion Conroy saw N'Golo Kanté steal the ball on the edge of the box before squaring off to Lukaku who had a whole goal to aim for as he smashed it past the keeper for his second on the half-hour mark.

Cesar Azpilicueta then assisted Lukaku in the 35th minute to complete his hat-trick, blasting the ball into the top-left corner.

Chelsea rounded off the scoring at Wembley with Kai Havertz finding Saúl inside the box in the 92nd minute to complete the rout.

Swindon manager Neil Godwin was interviewed after the match and was overwhelmed by the support shown to his side in the capital on the day and praised his squad as the ‘best group he has ever worked with’.

“The belief, the pride and the quality that has been shown by some of my lads throughout this season has been truly remarkable. I cannot think of enough words to describe how I feel about this club and this bunch of players, they have outdone themselves every week in the league and in the cup.

“We have enjoyed this ride so much, it’s been a great experience for everyone involved - I know that I have loved every moment of reaching this point.

“I spoke to all of the lads as they were leaving the pitch and they all left with a positive mindset despite the scoreline, they know they have worked as hard as they could and you can’t argue with being knocked out by the European champions can you?!” Godwin said after the game.

Godwin and his travelling group spent 30 minutes on the Wembley turf applauding the Swindon fans who travelled in their tens of thousands.

“We have been doing so well in the league, too. We really want to return to League One and to win the trophy would be a great achievement alongside this cup run, it would really cap it off and that is what we want to do next.

“We return back to reality with a tough tie against Port Vale midweek and we’re hoping to continue our great run in the league. These fans have been through hell for too many years supporting this club and I want to reward them for their loyalty and patience during that time with an unforgettable season.” Godwin finished before returning to the Swindon fans in the stands.

If results go their way on Wednesday, Swindon Town could be crowned League Two champions on the night at the County Ground where they play 16th placed Port Vale.
James: You would think that we have it all sorted, but you never know do you :))

Draw enough for Swindon promotion


Swindon Town confirmed their return to League One after one season with a scoreless draw at the County Ground tonight.

Ryan East had the opportunity to seal all three points for the Robins in the 33rd minute with a penalty but Jake Eastwood’s save prevented it with a great stop.

The promotion was secured via Northampton Town’s 3-2 home loss to Tranmere Rovers on the same night as Swindon’s lead over 4th place extended to 9 points with only 2 games left to play this season.

Neil Godwin’s men have only lost 5 games all season in the league and they have shown great strength and resilience in the face of a transfer embargo that has stopped them from replacing their two starting midfielders in Jordan Lyden and Jack Payne who joined Macarthur FC and Peterborough United respectively.

With the club’s league performance combined with the unexpected phenomenal FA Cup run which led them to a Wembley Semi Final, the supporters certainly had a lot to cheer about.

In the post-match press conference after celebrations had subsided, Godwin spoke once again of his pride in the current team at Swindon.

“I think it’s a tremendous achievement what we have managed to do this season. It’s a fitting reward for this group of players who have tried so hard for the club, for me and for the supporters.

“They deserve all of the fans’ praise at this current moment and we hope to create even more celebration by winning the title for them too.” Godwin said.

Swindon only need to win their next game against 7th placed Carlisle United to win the title as they lead 2nd placed Leyton Orient by 4 points. If won, they would lift the title on the last day where they play Rochdale at home.

Leyton Orient loss seals title for Swindon


It required a helping hand from Walsall for Swindon Town as their 1-0 win against the O’s secured the League Two title for Neil Godwin’s side.

Swindon Town fell to a 2-0 loss at Carlisle United’s Brunton Park this afternoon as Callum Guy scored a brace for Keith Millen’s team, which guaranteed them the final Play-Off spot at the end of the season.

Swindon only needed to win to secure the League Two title on the penultimate weekend of the division, but Leyton Orient’s loss to Walsall at Bescot Stadium was a pleasant surprise to Neil Godwin and his team.

Walsall’s right-back Hayden White was the man to make the difference at Walsall with a 32nd minute goal.

The Robins will now lift the title at the County Ground in the final match of the season against Rochdale where they will look to reach 90 points for the season in what has been a remarkable first season for former Swindon defender and manager Neil Godwin.

“I was unfortunate to not win anything at this club during my playing career and that is a big regret for me,” said Godwin. “So this feels like retribution of some sort. We have all had such a great time here this season.

“It feels like a previously divided, fragmented club has really come together as one this year, from the new owner, for myself coming in, the players working together as a unit and the supporters. It really feels like good times are coming back and I pledge to continue that as the years go on.” Godwin said on the pitch at Brunton Park after he was informed of the news of Walsall’s result against their sole title rival.

Clem Morfuni has promised to put an end to Swindon’s transfer ban ahead of their upcoming League One campaign and backed this up with plans to invest in the playing squad to consolidate their spot in the league.
What a wonderful season, there's been so many highlights along the way! The club is headed in the right direction, on and off the pitch, and exciting times are ahead I'm sure! I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the type of players that Neil will try to recruit, and if an offer isn't made to Andy Carroll... I'm gonna be VERY unhappy!








James: It's been a great campaign, full of joy in the cup and the league with a great bunch of players. I actually have a report on Carroll, however, he doesn't seem interested no matter how much I would love to try and convince him!

The Next Episode


“We have had a wonderful season together from my point of view, Neil,” Clem Morfuni said as he sat back while the waiter poured his champagne flute. “Certainly worth the celebratory drinks!”

Neil smiled as he took a gulp from his pint of Stella Artois. “It’s been one of the most enjoyable years of my life, I’m thankful for all of your support.”

“The good news is that our transfer ban will be lifted as of tomorrow and we will be free to operate in the transfer market. I’m clearly impressed with your ability to motivate and coach, so I am very intrigued to see your capability in the transfer market. How are you feeling about it?” Clem asked.

“Well Clem,” Godwin leant forward across the table, hands clenched on the table. “I’m intrigued as to what I have to work with. I know that the cup runs and attendance alone will have brought in a fair amount of income.”

“Absolutely, I have budgeted for a £1.5 million transfer budget, an additional £25,000 per week on wages - adjustable to your preferences, of course.” Clem said.

Godwin began “Well, we keep the performers: Wollacott, Odimayo, Williams, Reed, Hunt, Conroy, Lawson, East, Iandolo. I would also like to extend Gladwin’s deal. He is a talented player and he’s clearly been unfortunate with his injury this year. I think there will still be a player there next season.

“As for new players, I like the look of Villa’s Aaron Ramsey on loan. Coventry’s Jamie Allen also impresses me at League One level, a very talented midfielder. Adam Clayton for some experience when needed in the middle.

“A back-up goalkeeper, a striker to replace Simpson and we really need to bulk up our defence this summer.

“However, a priority should also be building up the youth team. We need a constant supply of players to prop up the first-team and I believe that they can be essential. I will coordinate with Ben Chorley on that as well as on other targets.”

Godwin indicated the need for plenty of arrivals, but in reality a lot were out of contract or returning to their parent clubs following their loan spells.

“League One will be a slog, if I have to be honest. There’s some good teams that have come down and the division itself is at a good level. We’ll do well to reach mid-table but I think the minimum expectation needs to be consolidation at this level. We can’t afford to yo-yo again.” Godwin said.

“I agree,” Clem said with a nod of his head. “I’m happy to take a place in the league for the next year after, we will build from there gradually.”

Morfuni agreed with Godwin that the club need not to sell any of the club’s players, unless it impacted the rest of the squad. Morfuni had admitted that the club’s balance stated £4.5million at the current stage, a very good amount to have in the bank, and wonderful to create stability on and off the pitch.

Transfers


We have been very busy in this season's transfer market, bringing in no less than 14 new first-team players after 10 players departed the club, including a £500,000 sale of centre-back Akin Odimayo.

We haven’t spent much of the £1.5million budget, focusing mainly on free transfers, low transfer fees and loans.

Goalkeeping


Jacob Adams will become our back-up goalkeeper to Joe Wollacott this season, following the #1s incredible performance last season, including his remarkable display against Southampton and Leyton Orient in particular.

Adams, 21, joins from Fulham on a free transfer after failing to make a first-team appearance in the Championship for Marco Silva’s men.

Defence


Left-back Scott Tanser was our second deal of the summer as we looked to replace Romoney Crichlow who returned to Huddersfield Town from his loan spell last season.

Tanser will move in ahead of our current remaining left-back Ellis Iandolo. The latter is still fairly young so I am hoping that Tanser, fresh from his experience in the Scottish Premiership with St Mirren and St Johnstone. Tanser has had experience in League One before with Rochdale where he spent 6 years following his academy graduation.


Sean Long was a key part of Cheltenham Town’s League One consolidation following promotion last year, playing 18 games between centre-back and right-back.

I expect Long and Rob Hunt to battle it out for the starting right-back spot this season following Hunt’s impressive League Two campaign last year.


Josh Pask comes in to fill our spot as starting centre-back as the position grows increasingly threadbare after Mathieu Baudry’s retirement and Akin Odimayo’s sale to Sunderland.

Pask played last season on loan to Kilmarnock in the Scottish Championship following a spell in Coventry City’s opening season in the Championship. He impressed across the border, making 15 appearances from January, achieving a 7.00 rating with 7 clean sheets kept as Killie finished 2nd in the league.


We have taken AFC Wimbledon’s academy graduate Will Nightingale for a fee of £64,000 following their relegation to League Two last season.

Nightingale had been a key part of Wimbledon’s consolidation in League One after their 2016 promotion and their relegation was likely down to his lack of presence last term. I expect Nightingale to compete for his spot amongst Conroy, Pask and Long for his spot at the back.


Our final defensive signing comes in the form of Sean McLoughlin, purchased from Championship side Hull City for £24,000.

The Irishman has not been able to keep his spot in the Hull side and with his ability to play either centre-back and left-back, he seemed an ideal signing to keep competition within the squad healthy.

Midfield


I was delighted to confirm Aaron Ramsey as our first signing of the season, bringing him in on loan until the end of the season.

Already a talent at Aston Villa, I think Ramsey, aided with regular football, will be able to improve immensely with us and we can perhaps take him on loan again next season.


Dan Crowley was our third signing of the season, brought in on a free transfer after his impressive performance with Cheltenham last season, scoring 1 and assisting 5 in 20 appearances.

Crowley can play anywhere in the midfield and even up-front if needed. He looks like a solid midfielder with a solid record.


Jamie Allen was our first signing paid for with a transfer fee and I think he deserves the £47.5k fee paid for him from Coventry City.

Allen has been playing in the Championship for the past two seasons after helping guide Coventry to promotion in 2020. During his time at Burton in League One, he proved himself as a goalscoring midfielder and I’m hoping that he can get involved here, too.


33-year-old Adam Clayton has been brought in on a low wage to provide some much-needed experience to the midfield.

Clayton has spent the last ten years playing at Championship level or above with the likes of Leeds United, Huddersfield Town, Middlesbrough and more recently Birmingham City. With this higher level experience, I expect his presence on the field to remain among an average set of players.


Young midfielder Cameron Antwi has come in to provide back-up, as well as help out the youth team. He cost £8,000 from Blackpool.

He played 10 Championship games last season for the Tangerines before going on loan to League Two outfit Scunthorpe United where he helped them stave off relegation out of the Football League.


Finally, Euan Henderson joins us from Hearts for just over £11,000 with a good record in Scotland.

He made himself a regular at Hearts in the Scottish Premiership and Championship. He spent last season on loan to Scottish League One outfit Alloa United where he made 36 appearances, scoring 6 goals and assisting twice.

Forwards


Oliver Sarkic is another player brought in from Blackpool this summer after failing to make an appearance in the Championship last season.

The Montenegrin arrived in England with Leeds United, signing from Benfica in 2017. After a loan spell in Spain’s lower leagues, he joined Burton permanently where he had his most successful spell yet in League One. We are looking to revive the 24-year-old’s career here with us.


Jake Scrimshaw joins us on loan from Bournemouth and appears to be our only out-and-out striker. We will look to utilise him as a pressing forward.

Last season he was on loan with Scunthorpe and was their top scorer as they finished 22nd, avoiding relegation. Scrimshaw’s goals accounted for around a third of Scunthorpe’s total goals, so can be credited with a strong impact in their survival.

Wow love it is this played on fm I take it ?







Squad 2022-23


4EYES: Thanks mate! And yes, this is all FM22
That's a lot of new faces, and it seems they've slotted straight in, based off of the results in the pre-season friendlies. I'm really impressed by Joshua Pask (a CB with 10 finishing!), whilst I also think that Crowley may initially fly under the radar, but will eventually become a key player.

Best of luck for the season ahead!













James: There had to be unfortunately! The squad was bare enough last season for it to continue. I, too love the look of Pask, I think he'll have a great time here as I do the rest of my signings :)

Loyalty


Godwin’s house phone had received two missed calls whilst out shopping. Returning with bags taken to the kitchen, the phone rang again just in time for Neil’s arrival. He asked his wife, Grace, to take care of the rest of the bags whilst he answered.

“Good afternoon, is this Neil Godwin?” said the man on the other end of the phone. Godwin confirmed, asking who was calling in response.

“It’s Jason Neale from Peterborough United Football Club. I am one of the directors here, working with Chairman Darragh MacAnthony. I apologise for the direct approach, but do you have a moment to speak?” Neale said.

Neil Godwin had an idea of what the call was regarding, considering he had heard that the club had recently sacked Stephen Robinson after a short spell with the club. He let Neale continue anyway.

“We currently have Matty Etherington in place here as caretaker manager, but we want to hire someone who can rescue this club at the bottom of the table. If you were interested, you would be our number one candidate pending interview. We are very impressed by your career with Swindon Town.

“We also understand that Swindon is somewhere that you are succeeding, that is a place close to your heart too. We could offer a better salary, a better league standing in the Championship and obviously, if you do incredibly well: a chance to manage in the Premier League at a much improved rate.” Neale tried to persuade.

Godwin did not like being approached directly, but was willing to be cordial with Neale in case he had involvement in his career later down the line.

“Jason, I’m honoured to be on your list of candidates for your position. However, I couldn’t be happier with Swindon Town at the moment, for the reasons you mentioned and more. Peterborough just isn’t an opportunity that I find to be interesting. If you could, please cut my name from the list.” Godwin affirmed before ending the call and beginning to unpack.

As he restocked his cupboards, a thought popped into his head and he stopped, returning to the landline that he had just been called on. ‘Leverage’ was the word running through his head.

“Clem, it’s Neil. I just wanted to call for a meeting to be arranged between us.” Godwin said.

“Of course, I have my diary open now, actually. What would it be regarding?” Morfuni asked.

“I’d just say to put it under ‘personal terms’ or ‘contractual discussions’”
It's more likely that Peterborough join you in League 1 than head to the Premier League, so they were speaking a whole load of "youknowwhat" over the phone. Liars can't be trusted, and Neil has made the right call. Clem needs to throw a big wad of cash at him now, and lock him down for the foreseeable future imo ;)

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