After a mediocre start to the new season, the pressure was on Technical Director Sandro di Michele to deliver on Transfer Deadline Day, and it’s safe to say, he produced the goods.
As Town announced five new names to supporters with plenty of drone footage thrown in, Marcel Lavinier, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, Conor Brann, Luke Jephcott, and Morgan Roberts all join the ranks.
In terms of outgoings, Lewis Ward has joined fellow League Two side Sutton United for an undisclosed fee, and at the time of writing, Harry McKirdy’s move to Hibernian was nearing its completion.
Views on McKirdy’s time in Wiltshire coming to an end seemed mixed after listening to fellow Town fans, but I will miss having him in the red and white moving forwards.
The 25-year-old is a born entertainer and a character you rarely find in professional sport, like someone from a different era, a real maverick on and off the pitch.
When he moves to Edinburgh, it will be a much quieter place without him, but as we’ve seen, with that sort of character there is a downside, resulting in a four-game suspension, but overall, I’ll miss his talent in front of goal, and personality at the club, and hope it works out for him at his new club.
Focusing back on SN1, and five new faces gracing Scott Lindsey’s side, it’s hard not to look straight at Luke Jephcott and be excited for what’s ahead for our new number fifteen, after scoring 30 goals in 91 games across the last two seasons.
The Plymouth striker arrives on an initial loan move with the option to make the deal a permanent one.
The arrival of a proven League One goalscorer into our ranks is the sort of signing we’ve been crying out for all summer, and someone fans can get excited about seeing.
I can see him developing a good partnership with Jacob Wakeling and he’ll more than replace the goals we’ve lost with McKirdy’s departure.
In defence, Town have picked up right-back Marcel Lavinier on a free from Spurs to add more competition at right-back, he arrives with wonderful pedigree with time at both Chelsea and Tottenham, hopefully, this will see Ronan Darcy move back to an attacking midfielder where he should be playing.
Between the sticks, we saw the arrival of Conor Brann after Lewis Ward’s move to Sutton United, with Sol Brynn having an excellent start to the season and being the club’s firm number one, Brann will have to make do with Papa John’s Trophy games, but hopefully, he’s someone who can develop and possibly push Brynn at some point this season.
Back up the other end of the pitch, Town welcomed striker Rushian Hepburn-Murphy to the club on a free transfer after his release from Pafos in the Cypriot First Division.
The former Aston Villa man was once talked off as a big prospect for the midlands side and even made his debut at the age of 16, the club’s youngest debutant in the Premier League era.
But after loan spells at Cambridge United, Tranmere Rovers, and Derby County he made his way to Cyprus in 2020.
At just 24 years old he has his best days ahead of him, and once he’s back to full match fitness, and got some game time under his belt, he can show that there was some substance to the hype back at Villa Park.
The last of the five players announced on Deadline Day was winger Morgan Roberts, who joins on a permanent deal from Banbury United.
The former Northampton Town youth scholar has enjoyed a successful time at the Spencer Stadium since his arrival last summer, scoring ten goals last season and netting four times in six games in this campaign.
I presume the young winger will be more of an impact player in the next couple of months as he gets used to the professional game, but after the progression of players like Ricky Aguilar from non-league football, we know he’ll get the chance to shine, hopefully, we see him adapt quickly and become the next non-league gem we see grace the County Ground regularly.
With Scott Lindsey’s squad now complete, for the new season ahead, this Saturday’s game away at Gillingham feels like a new start, a chance to see our final team for the season ahead.
With these new additions, and a real competitive squad now finally complete, it’s down to the Head Coach, di Michele has delivered him a good squad of players, he needs to shape them into a side ready to compete for a place in the top seven of the division starting at Priestfield.