Fans of Swindon Town, Port Vale’s next opponents, say their on loan midfielder will be a genuine threat…
About the fans…
PETER VENKMAN – My first game was in 1974 aged eight since then I worked for the club in several capacities from 1984 to 1998 from offices to stewarding.
BAMBOONOSHOE – I’ve been supporting Town since my dad decided to put Swindon as one of my middle names at birth (a true story). My first game was at Hillsborough against Sheff Wed (1990) when I was four.
DONKEY – I started at the beginning of the 85/86 season, when my dad asked me who I thought would win all four divisions for a bet he was putting on. I picked Swindon in the fourth, 102 points and a title later, I mentioned it to my dad… who in no uncertain terms pointed out he wasn’t going to put a bet on based on what an 11 year-old said. I learnt a lesson that day.
How are Swindon doing?
PETER VENKMAN – The fans were seemingly split 50/50 between definite relegation and promotion, which after last season was understandable as we had a terrible season. Flitcroft had to buy a whole new team so anything could happen.
BAMBOONOSHOE – We’re doing OK, expectation seems to be that with the squad we have, the manger should be able to get more out of them and be able to make getting out of this League a bit easier. I thought we’d be top eight at the start of the season, with the chance of an automatic spot. I would like us to finish top three but I think we’ll finish fourth.
DONKEY -At the start (with the previous way we were run) I had serious concerns of dropping straight through the division. Thankfully Flitcroft has arrested that slide. Now, I think we should be good
enough for the play-offs.
Who are the danger men?
PETER VENKMAN – No question it’s Timi Elsnik who is on loan from Derby. He runs the game in midfield, he has pace, power can dribble and shoot. He’s a Slovenian U19 international. When hes on form Matty Taylor’s set pieces are a real danger.
BAMBOONOSHOE – Marc Richards and Ollie Banks have proved to be pretty good January signings, so far.
DONKEY – Timi Elšnik, on loan from Derby, is a cracking young player, good on the ball, but not afraid to get stuck in. Upfront new signing Marc Richards is never short of putting in a shift in and, although he’s more often a sub these days, Paul Mullin knows how to hassle the opposition, which is annoying if he’s not on your team.
What about the manager?
PETER VENKMAN – He has not been universally accepted by Swindon fans, his tactic when he first arrived was long-ball, all the time, he had no plan B and his substitutions and man management at times seemed off the pace. However, since November we have played much better football with less hoofball and we look a team that could well go up. Many fans will never ever take to him though and his man managament skills seem to leave a lot to be desired. He had a “fairly” public fall out with Lawrence Vigouroux who is obviously our best keeper and has only played once since.
BAMBOONOSHOE – He’s a standard League Two manager. No more.
DONKEY – He’s built a side from little, ensured we’re not dropping out of the league and has us in the play-off places. On the flip side, some of our football has been the worst I’ve ever seen. If we get promoted, it won’t matter a bit.
Any memories of players connected with both clubs?
PETER VENKMAN – Ben Purkiss didn’t have a great start but has moved into a centre back position now and looks like he has always played there. A good (at this level) signing.
BAMBOONOSHOE – Cristian Montano who was on loan with us once. He seems to have rebuilt his career and at 26 still has time to have some good seasons.
DONKEY – Not too many, to be fair. I always felt that Billy Paynter didn’t get the respect his play deserved when he was here.
Any help for the visiting away fans in terms of pubs and parking?
PETER VENKMAN – The Merlin is away friendly and a stones throw from the ground. It also has a (small) charge for parking but the Fire station is even closer and charges £5 which goes to charity. I wouldn’t use the club car park as it’s expensive and takes ages getting out of after the game. As for pubs, the Town centre has the usual fare of Wetherspoons, Yates etc and is a 10 minute walk away.
BAMBOONOSHOE – I assume the Great Western and Savoy usually accept away fans. If you’re looking for spending some time with the wife/partner after the match Timbrell’s Yard in Bradford-on-Avon is pretty nice. Obviously any Wetherspoons is fine if you want something cheap and quick.
DONKEY – If you like real ale, The Glue Pot.
A score and crowd prediction?
PETER VENKMAN – I would like to this we will win 3-0 with Elsnik, Richards and Taylor scoring. I doubt the crowd will be much over 6,500 as the fans still aren’t fully backing Flitcroft’s style.
BAMBOONOSHOE – 5-0 (only joking). 2-1 (Richards, Taylor and Pope) Attendance: 7,053.
DONKEY – 2-0 Town (Richards and Banks). A crowd of 6,721
Thanks to REP for asking the questions.