When the Town faithful left the County Ground on 7th March after our 2-0 defeat to Forest Green Rovers no one knew the unprecedented events that were about to unfold across the world.
When the fixtures were suspended later that month, I remember hoping last season would’ve been able to carry on a couple of months later, but sadly despite the Premier League and Championship concluding their season’s League’s One and Two were ended, and the Points Per Game system was used to determine who finished where inside League Two.
Due to Richie Wellens’ side enjoying a superb campaign they were rightly crowned champions; the club’s seventh title win in their history.
Thankfully after such a long break from competitive action Town return to action this Saturday as they welcome Charlton to an empty County Ground in the League Cup 1st Round.
After the departures of Keshi Anderson, Eoin Doyle, and failing to re-sign Jerry Yates Richie Wellens had to rebuild his entire front line, an incredibly difficult task after two of those players overperformed, massively so in the case of Eoin Doyle.
But the manager and recruitment team at Town have done a great job in bringing in talent over the summer, firstly re-signing Diallang Jaiyesimi on a free after he was released by Norwich City, who I predict will be a standout star this season, not only inside Wellens’ side, but across League One.
Landing Jack Payne on a free is also a great bit of business as he arrives with a lot of experience for a 25-year-old, after stints with Huddersfield, Blackburn and last season at Lincoln City, another attacking threat who has signed on for this season is winger Jonny Smith who arrives on a season-long loan deal from Bristol City.
Smith enjoyed an impressive 19/20 season with Oldham, and the previous year helped Tranmere gain promotion from League Two.
I expect he’ll quickly become a fans favourite at SN1 and here’s hoping he can bring his impressive form from Boundary Park in League Two to the County Ground in League One.
The four other summer signings are more unknown quantities to first-team football but it seems Matt Smith (on loan from Arsenal) and Matej Kovar (on loan from Manchester Utd) arrive with high hopes from their parent clubs with Swindon their first big chance to show what they can do when exposed to first-team football.
Tyler Smith (on loan from Sheff Utd) and Akin Adimayo make-up Town’s summer signings with Smith impressive throughout pre-season and currently looking to lead the line for Town this season, but that may change with the manager already expressing his desire to bring in another striker before the window shuts.
After the huge success of last season inside his first full campaign as a manager, what’s expected from Richie Wellens this season and his side?
What would pass as a good season? Survival? Mid-table? Play-off push?
With the manager far from finished in the transfer window it’s tough to say what would be acceptable for the 20/21 season, but after seeing who’s already arrived this summer I can’t see Town involved in a relegation battle, and with League One packed with some huge clubs for this level with similarly huge budgets a top-six finish would be an exceptional achievement.
Currently, I can see us finishing 10th in the table, but last season I predicted a playoff finish for Wellens’ side and they easily proved me and lots of people wrong, here’s hoping for the same at the end of this season.
League One Prediction 20/21
- Milton Keynes
- Bristol Rovers