Wednesday, 12 May 2010

A first look at Swindon

Charlton has attempted to dip into the non-league to find recruits. Stuart Fleetwood only appeared in a friendly and while Chris Dickson had a few devotees, he was unable to hack it even at Gillingham.

It's therefore interesting that the 'Rocking Robins' have had some success with a recruit from the Wessex Premier League, Charlie Austin. A year ago he was combining his day job as a bricklayer with a career in non-league football. He joined Swindon from Poole Town in October and has been banging in goals ever since, attracting the interest of bigger clubs.

Goalkeeper David Lucas is a popular figure at the club. He is a devotee of horror films, especially classics such as Survival of the Dead. Given that Swindon had a relegation battle last season, that might be a good theme for them.

How have Swindon done so well given that they would have been relegated last season without the goals of Simon Cox who was then sold in the summer? Doom and gloom merchants at the County Ground (and they do have them there) were predicting another relegation struggle.

The manager did make some shrewd signings on free transfers and loans. Lucas and Douglas came in from Leeds and Ferry and Stephen Darby were brought in from Celtic. Somehow or other the club managed to house its loan players in a posh Cotswolds hotel.

With the departure of Cox, Billy Paynter stepped up to the plate. What we lack at Charlton is anyone who can score 25+ goals a season. It is the team's greatest weakness.

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