1. ITV Report

Flitcroft takes charge at Swindon

Flitcroft is back in management after a six month break Photo: Simon Cooper/EMPICS Sport

Swindon Town Football Club officially unveiled David Flitcroft as their new manager today. The appointment was no secret having been announced by the club last week, but this was an opportunity to hear his vision for the club and also to hear from Chairman Lee Power as he looks to return Town to League One at the first time of asking, following relegation at the end of the season.

Flitcroft has experience of League Two having managed Bury. Taking charge in 2013 he avoided relegation and went on to win promotion into League One the following season. After a run of poor results he was sacked in November 2016 but is now looking to hit the ground running with Swindon.

He spoke about surrounding himself with positive people, educating his players in more than just football and instilling a pride in playing for Swindon Town, words that will hearten Swindon fans after a disappointing couple of season.

His first aim is to establish an identity for his side. Despite having just 10 players under contract Flitcroft was clear about how he wanted his side to play, pointing out that recruitment will be key.

I love a team that is expressive, I love a team that can attack teams and play fast flowing football but I also very truly understand the words of structure, I'll be teaching these players more than football that's what i do know. I'll be teaching them about life and that we all achieve together.

– David Flitcroft, Manager

Many fans might wonder how much control David will have at the club. Last season saw the introduction of Tim Sherwood as Director of football a role that was well intentioned but seemed to have little clarity. Chairman Lee Power confirmed today that not only was Tim Sherwood no longer involved with the club, there was no longer a Director of Football role at Swindon.

Power who took over a club losing £5m a year acknowledged that mistakes had been made and said in securing David as manager he was happy to revert to the more traditional role of Chairman, handing responsibility for player recruitment to the manager.

He also said money would be made available to the new manager with the aim of returning straight back to League One.

We had a tough season so money had to be found to fill that hole which it has been and some money needed to be found to back David to give him a competitive budge next season at this level. So I'm more than happy for David to take control and go back the more conventional route of being Chairman.

– Lee Power, Chairman

Speaking to lifelong fan Rob Hartley who attended the press conference there certainly seemed plenty of positives to take:

Really encouraged, it was the type of words that any football fan would want to hear, you can tell that he's going to get a team on that pitch who want to really want to put the shirt on for Swindon. We've missed that for the last few years, I think he's caught the mood of what Swindon fans need already and if he can put a team together that will actually deliver that then he's going to have a great time here.

– Rob Hartley, Swindon Fan

Also watching the press conference was former player Sam Parkin who was also impressed by what he saw:

He speaks really well, he's trying to galvanise the whole place, get the supporters onside, it's been a little bit disjointed over the last few years and hopefully everybody's going to be pulling in the same direction.

– Sam Parkin, Former player

It will be no easy task though, Swindon currently have just 10 players under contract, although David said he has already spoken to numerous players and agents, and they also have no pre-season fixtures lined up in order to prepare for life in League Two. A press conference full off potential and promise must now be transferred to recruitment and performances on the pitch.