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Neil Godwin: The Next Episode

Started on 16 April 2022 by Jack
Latest Reply on 19 August 2022 by J_ames

Godwin agrees Swindon extension

Swindon Town manager Neil Godwin has agreed a new three-year deal with the Robins.

The former Swindon defender led his team to an immediate promotion back to the third tier by winning the League Two title in the face of a one-year transfer ban imposed by the EFL.

His side now sit in 5th place in their first season back in League One, an impressive feat given the preseason expectations for the club set at wanting to simply remain in the division.

In his year-and-a-half at the club, Godwin has attained an impressive 52% win ratio as manager which included an incredible 2021/22 run in the FA Cup, leading them to a Wembley Semi-Final against Chelsea where they finally ended their journey.

He made no less than 14 first-team signings as the transfer ban ended in June with the likes of on-loan Jake Scrimshaw and Josh Pask excelling in League One, with Dion Conroy and Joe Wollacott - who both extended deals also performing well in the higher division.

The deal now runs until June 2025, earning a weekly salary of £2,500 with increases dependent on promotions or relegations.

“There are big plans for this club,” Godwin said after the news broke. “Clem and I are in constant contact, coming up with so-far successful strategies to reach certain milestones and we feel like we are well on our way to achieve them, even sooner than expected.

“We want to take this club to the very top as I think our fans deserve it. We feel that we are stable now, with a rejuvenated youth squad and first-team. We want to keep building and I intend to consult with everyone at the club to make sure it is done correctly.”

Godwin’s next game will be against divisional rivals Derby County in the FA Cup as they look to replicate last season’s success in the competition.
James: I guess that they had to sell it to me :P can't argue with the £1000 uplift per week though!

It's just so hard to tell how you're doing at times! The results are almost like a rollercoaster ride at times, with some good wins in there, but also some tough losses too. That loss to Salford City must've been quite hard to take, though the win against Forest Green must've been quite an adrenaline rush. The gap from 4th to 10th is still quite tight, but I'm sure you'll cement your place in the playoff positions sooner or later!

Swindon placed under transfer embargo as injury crisis worsens

Just six months after their transfer ban ended, Swindon Town have been placed under another transfer embargo after failing to meet FFP requirements.

The club have marginally exceeded the maximum wage expenditure by a rumoured £375 per week and will now miss out on the opportunity to buy players in the January transfer window for a fee.

Swindon will still be able to sign free players as long as they are signed on a salary of under £10,000 per week.

The news comes as manager Neil Godwin struggles with a huge injury list, leaving him with no option but to play U18s players John Okoye-Kanu, Tom Guarnieri, Lawal Omoregie, Carl East Levi Francis and Ozer Kol throughout December, leaving his side with only two wins from the last seven in the league.

Swindon remain in the League One Play-Offs but have been dropping off the automatic places and needing reinforcements for the past month now.

Godwin has two cup games coming up, including an FA Cup 3rd Round tie against Premier League side Newcastle United before returning to league action against Play-Off rivals Derby County and Bolton Wanderers.
James: I'd prefer to be pushing on 38 points with a win against bottom of the table Salford, I know that for sure! However, beating Wycombe 5-0 was also a great achievement and really set us as real contenders I think.
Pleased to have caught up here! A fantastic first season and there are all the suggestions that season two under Godwin could be equally as fruitful, albeit now with the club under a transfer embargo.
Oh, for goodness sake... ANOTHER embargo!? What a pain in the backside, and hopefully it doesn't affect the clubs chances of being promoted. I guess it's time for Neil to slash the wage bill, so that another embargo isn't in Swindon's future?

Swindon to upgrade training and youth facilities

Swindon Town chairman Clem Morfuni has released a press statement regarding the upcoming improvements being made to the infrastructure at the club.

The updates come after the news of Swindon Town’s January transfer embargo, but the chairman and manager of the club were quick to dismiss any long-term problems with the club.

The training ground improvements at Twelve Oaks in Highworth are estimated to cost around £1.8million to be completed by the end of the current season.

The club’s youth level is also set to be upgraded to Category Three by June 2023, with improvements also expected in the club’s youth recruitment after the U18 squad was bolstered with 11 signings from domestic clubs in the lower English tiers.

The importance of these recent improvements were seen throughout December with Swindon’s injury crisis with many of the U18s taking up a place in the first-team starting eleven with some impressive performances from the likes of Lawal Omoregie, John Okoye-Kanu and Carl East.

“These are part of the plans set out when Clem and I first joined the club. We are disappointed with the recent decision to impose a transfer embargo on the club, particularly when we have the 5th lowest wage bill in the division. It’s quite unfair.” Godwin told the media, addressing concerns.

“But to be where we are in the league despite this in our first season back shows how good this group of players are. The developments to the infrastructure that will be taking place this year are this club’s next step in our journey. I am delighted to be a part of it.”

Despite the embargo and the injuries, Godwin’s team have performed tremendously in January, defeating Newcastle United in the FA Cup 3rd Round alongside fending off two Play-Off competitors in Derby and Bolton.

“With Neil’s commitment to stay until at least 2025, we have a lot of room to work towards our vision for this club. These improvements are all part of this and I can’t wait to see how far we can go as a club.” Club chairman Clem Morfuni stated in the press release.
Scott: All looking rosy at the moment!
James: It's annoying given the wage bill exceeds the limit by a matter of hundreds! It only came as a result of a clause relating to Williams' wage increase based on apps!

McEntee joins Swindon on six-month loan

Swindon Town have confirmed the deadline day signing of Oisin McEntee on a loan deal until the end of the season.

The 22-year-old centre-back has been signed from divisional rivals and fellow Play-Off pushers Bolton Wanderers, leaving many to think about what kind of advantage the deal may bring to either side.

The last time that the Irish U21 defender played regular first-team football was during his 21/22 loan spell in the Scottish Championship with Greenock Morton where he made 40 appearances in all competitions.

Bolton bought the player for £4,700 from Newcastle United five days ago and he has not featured for them this year.

Reports state that McEntee has been brought in to cover the centre-back problems that the first-team squad has had at Swindon Town.

Swindon will be paying McEntee his £700 per week wage that he earns at Bolton and he will wear the number 48 shirt this season.

The upgrades of your training and youth facilities are fantastic news, and in the long-term, hopefully it'll ensure that your producing your own players instead of having to rely on the transfer market. Which would be brilliant, after enduring so many embargoes!

I'm not a big fan of Oisin if I'm honest, but he should be fine as a back-up at the same time. He's very lacking in the 'technical' department, but his 'mental' and 'physical' attributes should be enough for him to get by in the English lower leagues.

James: McEntee wasn't my first choice signing, a couple turned us down on deadline day and given our injury crisis we needed back-up. It may turn out to be a reactionary signing but it's low-risk with potentially high reward.
A small buffer between you and 5th, though it would take only a small slip-up for that to be gone. Some of your results were incredible (Newcastle!), and you definitely turned things around after a bit of a slow start to the New Year. In the end, it was a well deserved 'Manager of the Month' award for Neil, and here's hoping the good form continues, so that you can go up automatically instead of relying on the playoffs!

Swindon book Wembley Semi-Final again

Neil Godwin has replicated his FA Cup success this season with a 3-2 extra-time victory over Norwich City.

Carrow Road was stunned into silence apart from the rapturous away support as Jayden Mitchell-Lawson bagged the decisive goal in the 115th minute.

Norwich opened the scoring in the 8th minute with a Patrick Bamford cutback to Andi Zeqiri where he hit in low past Joe Wollacott.

However, just eight minutes later, Ben Gibson brought down a one-on-one Oliver Sarkic inside the area from a Jake Scrimshaw pass. Regular penalty taker Scott Tanser continued his 100% record from the spot this season, bagging his 8th of the season from left-back.

It was last season’s FA Cup hero Jonny Williams who put Swindon into the lead for the first time as Sean Long hit a cross in for the Welsh midfielder to head home in the 56th minute.

With 10 minutes left on the clock, Zeqiri levelled the scores again after McLean to slot past Wollacott at the near post.

Deep into the second half of extra-time as the scores went in at 2-2 after normal time, Euan Henderson hit a low cross, finding the opposite winger Mitchell-Lawson who powered the ball past Daniel Barden.

Dean Smith had called Swindon an “easy opponent” and maintained this in his post-match conference, calling Swindon’s victory a ‘fluke’, with many mocking the former Aston Villa manager for his misplaced confidence.

Swindon Town began this season’s FA Cup adventure with a 1st Round win over National League side Oldham Athletic before defeating divisional Play-Off rivals Derby County at the County Ground.

Godwin then took on his first Premier League opponent, with Mitchell-Lawson the hero again with the winner against Newcastle United in the 3rd Round. Josh Pask and Jake Scrimshaw were able to take apart relegation strugglers Aston Villa at the County Ground, too.

His side then faced fierce rivals Oxford United in the 5th Round, with Euan Henderson netting a hat-trick against their A420 rivals in a 3-1 win, leading to today’s win over Norwich.

Last season, Swindon faced Chelsea at Wembley in the Semi-Final and were smashed 5-0. However, they have an easier draw this season, as they take on Fulham in the Semi-Final - a considerably weaker opponent than the former champions of Europe as they struggle for a Championship Play-Off spot.
James: There's a great buffer between us and not only 5th, but 7th place being another stopping point. As for that Newcastle result, you can see where that has led us to now and I can't wait for it!

Swindon enter automatic promotion race

Swindon Town have entered into 2nd place following a 2-0 away win over relegation-threatened Fleetwood Town.

Due to ongoing participation in the FA Cup, this was Swindon’s game in hand on previously 2nd placed Wycombe Wanderers and following their 2-1 loss to Cheltenham last Saturday, they blew the promotion race wide open.

Harrison Biggins was the player to give away a penalty in the 24th minute after pushing Jake Scrimshaw as Jamie Allen’s corner was floating in. Scott Tanser was on hand to score his 9th penalty of the season - his 5th goal in the past 3 games for Swindon.

Scrimshaw then confirmed the victory with a low, driven shot which hit the post on its way past Alex Cairns.

The win gives Swindon Town a one point lead over Wycombe Wanderers and a two point lead over Charlton Athletic. They trail the league leaders Queens Park Rangers by six points.

With 7 league games remaining this season, Swindon still have a long way to go - particularly with their remaining FA Cup Semi-Final to come in April.

Neil Godwin praised his side for pushing themselves beyond their abilities after the game.

“These players aren’t just good individuals with a bit of talent amongst themselves, they have collective tactical intelligence, they have the spirit and they want the best for each other. That is why we are where we are at the moment.

“There is a long way to go, we have another Wembley trip booked in and seven huge games in the league coming up. It might go wrong, but we believe it can go excellently. We have done it before, there’s no reason why we can’t do it again.” Godwin said.
YES! We want auto promotion, none of this playoff nonsense! Didn't Fleetwood used to be somewhat decent a few years back, or am I mistaken? The club is in such great hands (on and off the pitch) and I bet the Swindon faithful are delighted to see the direction their club is headed, after years of turmoil.

James: It would make life a lot easier! It's fair to say Fleetwood are an established L1 side now, achieving Play-Offs twice but this season it's not looking ideal for them.

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