As League Two was sadly brought to an early end a couple of weeks ago due to the Coronavirus pandemic it’s now time to hand out a few awards and celebrate one of the best campaigns seen at the County Ground after five years of underachievement.
Player of the Season
After scoring 25 goals across the 15/16 campaign Nicky Ajose left Town for Charlton Athletic in June 2016, little did we know it would be three long years before the Town faithful would see another prolific goalscorer at the County Ground.
Eoin Doyle’s arrival on loan at Town was welcomed with some excitement after seeing what he produced under Richie Wellens at Oldham Athletic during the 17/18 season, but the following campaign was not a successful one for the Irishman as he struggled at Bradford City.
It didn’t take long for the talented striker to establish himself in Wellens’ side as on his debut at Exeter City he scored a late equaliser to rescue a point for Town, he went on to score seven goals in his first six games, after four games without a goal the floodgates opened as Doyle made headlines around the country as he scored 15 goals in 11 games, scoring in every one of those appearances.
After scoring at home to Plymouth Argyle on New Year’s Day to take his tally to 23 goals in 22 games for Town the striker’s loan deal was cut short by his parent club Bradford City as they looked to capitalise on the form Town had enjoyed, but after failing for a second time to settle in Yorkshire the Ginger Pele signed for Swindon permanently on a six-month deal.
On his return the frontman scored 2 goals in 6 games before the football season came to a sudden end in early March.
Doyle is without a doubt one of the most natural goalscorers I’ve ever seen in a Town shirt, as he not only dominated the goalscoring charts in the UK but was at one point the highest scoring striker in European football.
It’s a huge shame his season was cut short and he wasn’t able to reach the 30-goal mark which he would’ve easily reached with 10 games left in the season. With his contract ending this summer I hope his deal can be extended whilst Town’s ownership issue is currently ongoing.
Young Player of the Season
As Town started the season with Luke McCormick as the only senior goalkeeper in the squad it was clear the manager needed to bring in another keeper to provide some competition for the 36-year-old.
Benda joined Town on loan from Swansea in September 2019 and after a poor performance from McCormick away at Bradford City the 20-year-old was given his first-team debut in the Checkatrade Trophy, unfortunately, Town went on to lose 3-0, but despite this, he impressed the manager enough to hand him his league debut in the following game in a 1-1 draw against Plymouth Argyle.
Since that point, the German has gone from strength to strength making many crucial saves to help Town maintain their position at the top of the table, one of his best coming away at Northampton Town as he somehow managed to get a finger-tip to a goal-bound shot from inside the area, with Jordan Lyden’s late header going on to secure three huge points for Town.
It’s clear the young keeper has the attributes needed for a long, successful career and I’m glad he kicked it off at Swindon Town.
Most Improved Player
After joining Town in January 2019 from Bristol Rovers the defender enjoyed a decent start to his career at SN1 before a poor performance away at Stevenage cost him his spot in the side. With the arrival of Dan Ballard and Mathieu Baudry into the club last summer Broadbent fell down the pecking order for the 19/20 season.
But following an injury to Baudry in Town’s home game vs. Colchester Utd Broadbent was given his chance but he endured an evening to forget as he couldn’t handle former Town loanee Theo Robinson as Swindon went down to a 3-0 defeat.
This performance I’m sure convinced the manager not to gamble with Broadbent the following week and moved full-back Zeki Fryers to partner Dion Conroy. The 28-year-old wouldn’t make another league appearance until late November as he replaced Michael Doughty with just under half-an-hour left in a game vs. Mansfield Town, Town went on to win the game 1-0 with Broadbent impressing on his return to the first team.
The defender would make another substitute appearance in early January as he replaced an injured Zeki Fryers, and despite Town conceding late on Broadbent once again looked much improved.
This resulted in the centre-back starting the next two games against Crewe Alexandra and Newport County, and again his performance level would improve as against Crewe he put in his best performance in a Town shirt.
With the arrival of Rarmani Edmonds-Green on loan from Huddersfield Town chances in the first team dried up with him starting only one more game before the season came to an end against Scunthorpe United in a 2-0 home win.
I’m sure the defender will look back on the 2019/20 season with mixed emotions, as he went from his showing against Colchester United to the triumph of his performance against Crewe Alexandra.