The first signing under the Clem Morfuni era was announced on Monday, and ironically it happens to be a player who was very prominent during the previous ownership.
Ben Gladwin has penned down a one-year deal at STFC, following his contract running out from a relatively short stint at MK Dons in Sky Bet League One.
The midfielder made 26 appearances last season for The Dons, but now faces a new challenge in the league below where expectations are certainly dependable on the next few weeks of transfer activity at the club.
This is astonishingly Gladwin’s fourth stint at STFC, with arguably his most highlighted spell being the 2014/15 season where he was integral cog in the campaign, falling just short of promotion after a disappointing 4-0 defeat to Preston in the League One Play off final.
The season included a special goal from the midfielder which every Town fan remembers, a thumping volley in the play-off semi-finals against Sheffield Utd in a dramatic 5-5 draw which sent the County Ground into havoc.
Six years on from that eventful season, and Gladwin has since then found himself at a number of clubs following his supposed big move to QPR following the Play Off final in 2015.
It’s fair to say the move to QPR certainly didn’t live up to expectations of what Gladwin had shown in the previous season at SN1.
He made just 14 appearances for the London based side in his two years at the club, two challenging years which were interrupted with three loan spells, two of which being at Swindon.
Following his contract expiry at QPR, Gladwin then found himself at fellow championship side, Blackburn Rovers. An unfortunate injury plagued three years meant he only racked up a total of five appearances in his three years at the club, which then led to his subsequent move to MK Dons in 2020.
Now back at STFC, in what is his surprisingly his first ever time in the fourth division, it seems Head Coach Ben Garners ideology of how he wants to play was a big factor for making his return.
When asked by the official club media about Garner’s impact on his return, Gladwin said…
“Just in terms of the brand of football that I think he wants to play, is definitely something that I like to do, and I’ve done that throughout most of my career”
This style of football will only bode well should Garner be given the players he desires to fit into this system, and it seems his wishes may be granted by Morfuni with Gladwin already through the door, perhaps a sign of things to come.
Garners on the deck, fast tempo approach will be welcomed by the fans who witnessed a similar philosophy under Richie Wellens’ 19/20 season where his side lifted the League Two trophy.
However, it will also be welcomed by the players at the club, with attacking playmakers like Jack Payne and Ben Gladwin who should certainly thrive under Garners management.
And with a chunk of the League Two champions side still at the club, together with fan favourite Anthony Grant in contention of a return to the club. The reminisce of a strong title winning spine is slowly coming in place.
Garner and Director of Football Ben Chorley still have a lot of work on their hands to prepare Swindon Town for their upcoming season that’s for certain, but with the new ownership only coming through the door just a week ago the positivity flowing through the entire club feels overwhelmingly brilliant.
By Jack Bishop