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A-Z of the 00's: A is for...

As the decades end approaching Vital Swindon Town takes a look at those who featured for the Town first team throughout the decades.

Series One - The Letter A

STEVE ADAMS

A Plymouth born midfielder who started his career at his hometown club.

He was given his Argyle by Kevin Hodges debut as a teenager in 1998. He became a regular fixture at Home Park making over 150 league appearance as Plymouth climbed the divisions under Paul Sturrock.

Adams then opted to drop from The Championship down to League One to reunite with Sturrock to join Sheffield Wednesday. However, his career was dogged by injuries at Wednesday. Adams only made 20 league appearances in two and a bit seasons for The Owls.

Yet it was Paul Sturrock who threw another career lifeline to Adams by allowing him to try and earn a contract at Swindon Town during August 2007.

He proved his fitness and was handed a six month contract. Adams made his Town debut on the opening day of the season at Northampton Town being preferred ahead fellow new signing Craig Easton to line-up alongside Michael Pook in the centre of the Town midfield. Adams played the full 90 minutes in the 1-1 draw.

Adams then completed another full game in the League Cup against Charlton Athletic (a 2-0 loss) but was then dropped by Sturrock.

He didn't appear in a Town starting XI again until the Johnstone Paint Trophy win against Brentford on September 4th didn't play again after that until the next round of the same competition in early October, a cup exit against Cheltenham Town.

Adams returned to the league set-up in November by playing 82 minutes against Leyton Orient and then appeared as a late sub in the FA Cup win against Wycombe Wanderers. He was then ruled out with hamstring injury for the rest of his Town career.

During his injury Sturrock had left the County Ground for a return to Plymouth Argyle. New manager Maurice Malpas offered Adams a new deal which looked likely to be accepted.

However, Torquay United offered Adams a longer deal - with more security and a return to Devon on the table, Adams opted to drop into Non-League football.

Since leaving Swindon, Adams continues to be dogged by injuries but played at Wembley in Torquay's FA Trophy loss to Ebbsfleet United.

Town Career

2 League Appearances
1 FA Cup Appearance
1 League Cup Appearance
2 JPT Appearances

GARY ALEXANDER

Swindon Town manager Colin Todd was keeping this transfer under wraps. While talking to local journalists Todd would only confirm that they were trying to secure the services of a young highly-rated Premiership striker.

Gary Alexander was confirmed as this striker in question, joining from West Ham United for £300,000 in August 2000. He had failed to break into the Hammers first team but had previously enjoyed a good season-long long at Exeter City.

With the pressure of a the price Town paid it seemed to effect the 21 year old as he failed to score in his first 8 outings for the Town.

His first goal came in the form of a first half equaliser at home against Wigan Athletic in late September - the game finished 2-2.

Despite playing almost constantly Alexander didn't find the net against until he scored the only goal in the win at Northampton Town.

As Town struggled to survive the drop, Alexander struggled to find his goalscoring form. No league goals until February (he scored a brace in the LDV Trophy match against Wycombe Wanderers)

Goals against Bournemouth and Luton Town only resulted in Swindon gaining one point from those games. While the two he got against Rotherham United in late March still ended with Swindon losing 4-3.

Swindon looked destined for relegation with Bristol Rovers having games in hand. Luckily for Swindon, Rovers were in self-destrut mode and if Town beat Peterborough United at home, the Robins would survive relegation.

Gary Alexander, the striker who could score consistantly all season, put Town ahead early on with a precious effort which would probably earn him cult status. However, Alan Reeves' own goal with under 15 minutes to go cancelled his effort out.

Danny Invincible stole the show with an injury time winner which secured safety.

At the end of the season Town accepted a £170,000 bid from Hull City and joined them in June 2001.

He remained with Hull until January 2003 after scoring 23 league goals in 68 matches (most of those goals coming during his impressive first season in the 4th tier).

Alexander then joined Leyton Orient in early 2003 and stayed until 2007. He played 179 times in the league for Orient scoring 52 goals.

During the the 2005/06 season he endured a 17 game streak without scoring. However, that was ended with a final day goal that helped Orient secure promotion to League One and also, and more importantly, condemed Oxford United to relegation into Non-League football.

Gary Alexander now plays for the team he supported as a child, Millwall.

Town Career

37 League Appearances
3 FA Cup Appearancew
3 League Cup Appearances
3 JPT Appearances

7 League Goals
2 JPT Goals

HASNEY ALJOFREE

Aljofree started his career as a youngster with his local club Manchester United before joining the youth set-up at Bolton Wanderers. He was also capped at England youth level during this time.

At 19, he made his Premiership debut for Bolton in the 2-1 win against Blackburn Rovers, playing the entire game. However, that was followed up with a 4-0 loss at Derby County.

Bolton were relegated that season but Aljofree failed to secure a regular place the following season - making only four league appearances. He featured a little more during the 1999/2000 season but was released after its conclusion.

Aljofree then secured a move to the Scottish Premier League with Dundee United where he enjoyed 2 seasons of regular football playing 54 times in the league scoring 4 times.

After a 5-0 loss away at Celtic Hasney Aljofree joined Paul Sturrock's revolution at Plymouth Argyle. His last appearance of the 2002/03 was the 2-0 loss at Swindon in late April.

The following season saw Plymouth enjoy one of their finest seasons as they won the League One title.

Aljofree became a regular fixture in Championship football before injuries and falling out of favour under Ian Holloway occurred.

Aljofree had a brief loan spells at Sheffield Wednesday and Oldham Athletic before joining Paul Sturrock at Swindon Town in 2007.

Since joining Swindon he has earned mixed reviews and had a not-so-great relationship with the fans.

His first goal came as a late equaliser at home to Leyton Orient. He celebrated by revealing his Superman underwear! He's also captained the club.

In December 2008, Aljofree was injured in the home loss with Yeovil which ruled him out for the remainder of the season. Rumours suggest that Aljofree will leave in the summer.

Town Career

57 League Appearances
5 FA Cup Appearances
2 League Cup Appearances

2 League Goals
1 FA Cup Goal

* Stats correct up to 19/02/09.

CHRIS ALLEN

A product of the Swindon Town youth system. Allen had captained the youth team to the Quarter-Finals of the FA Youth Cup in 2006/07. He signed a two year professional deal during the pre-season building up to the 2007/08 season.

Highly rated by the club, Allen operates in the centre of midfield. David Byrne felt that Allen was good enough for an international call-up.

Allen made his debut in the Johnstone Paint Trophy fixtue with Brentford - a game that Swindon won 4-1. He made his league debut as a sub in the 3-1 loss at Cheltenham Town.

In December 2007, Allen enjoyed a short run in the first team including the 2-1 loss at Southend - Allen walked off the field with tears in his eyes as Southend grabbed a later winner.

Allen was in and out of the first team set-up during his first season as a professional - playing 8 times (starting 7 of them).

However, Allen seemed to disappear from the first team during the start of the 2008/09 campaign. Sitting on the bench against Queens Park Rangers and starting against Aldershot Town in the Johnstone Paint Trophy.

His first league outing came as quite a suprised to Swindon fans after Danny Wilson selected him to start against Walsall on January 27th. He earned positive reviews as Town won 3-2 against the Saddlers.

He started again in the 0-0 draw at Oldham Athletic but has since left the first team again.

With his contract up in the summer, he is one of the few Town fans would like to see more of in the future.

Town Career

10 League Appearances
1 FA Cup Appearance
3 JPT Appearances

* Stats correct up to 19/02/09.

KEVIN AMANKWAAH

An English born defender/midfielder of Ghanaian heritage began his career with Bristol City in 2000.

During the early stages under Danny Wilson, Kevin Amankwaah was a regular feature in the City set-up despite still a teenager at the time. However, he became more of a fringe player during City's two unsuccessful play-off seasons. He spent time of loan at Torquay United and Cheltenham Town during this time.

After just over 50 league games for City Amankwaah fell completely out-of-favour under Brian Tinnion and was sent to Yeovil Town on loan before sealing a permanent switch with the Glovers.

Amankwaah helped Yeovil secure promotion to the 3rd tier for the first time in their history and played throughout the following season as a regular starter.

His good form earned him a move to ambitious Swansea City. However, Amankwaah failed to impress the Swansea faithful and eventually the coaching staff - playing only 3 league games in his second and final season in Wales.

It was Maurice Malpas that signed the recently released Amankwaah on a 2 year deal in the Summer of 2008.

However, pre-season injury meant he didn't make his debut until the 2-1 win at Milton Keynes Dons in late August.

He became a regular fixture under Malpas until injury problems re-emerged.

Amankwaah had also struggled to impress the Swindon fans until Danny Wilson joined the club and has thus far reignited his Town career.

He scored his first goal for Swindon in the 3-2 win against Walsall.


Town Career

13 League Appearances
2 JPT Appearances

1 League Goal

* Stats correct up to 19/02/09.

IBON PEREZ ARRIETA

Ibón Pérez Arrieta is aformer *deep breath* CF Pollença, Real Unión Club de Irún, SD Huesca, Talavera CF, GD Chaves, Sporting Braga, GD Chaves, GD Estoril-Praia, Racing de Ferrol, CD Logroñés, Maccabi Herzliya, PAS Giannina and UD Melilla striker so that would make him a typical journeyman! He arrived on trial at the County Ground with BEST Holdings trying to take over the club and eager to show the club what talent they had to offer.

Arrieta had an 'okay' pre-season scoring against Cirencester and Forest Green Rovers before signing a 2 year contract with the club as the BEST takeover neared completion.

He made his debut as a sub on the opening day of the season and came on with 20 minutes to go against Luton Town in the 2-1 victory. He then made brief appearances against Cheltenham Town and Crewe Alexandra before starting his last game for the club in the 4-1 Johnstone Paint Trophy against Brentford. Arrieta scored an overhead kick.

This was the last time Arrieta featured for the first team as the BEST Holdings takeover collapsed.

Arrieta agreed to have his contract terminated in January 2008. He then joined Romanian outfit CS Pandurii Târgu-Jiu.

Town Career

4 League Appearances
1 League Cup Appearance
1 JPT Appearance

1 JPT Goal

MOSES ASHIKODI

Born in Lagos, Nigeria before moving to England as a child.

Mark McGhee gave Ashikodi his debut for Millwall at 15 years and 240 days - a club record. He went on to play 4 more times from the bench for the Lions.

Ashikodi also played for England at under-16 under-17, under-18 and under 19 level.

However, Ashikodi's Millwall career was ended after an incident that involved the youngster threatening a team mate with a knife. He was duly sacked.

After Millwall he joined West Ham United with Hammers boss Alan Pardew declaring that 'everybody deserves a second chance - and to be fair he seems a lot calmer than Tomas Repka!'

He failed to feature in the United first team but spent a month on loan at Gillingham in 2005 - he was sent-off in his last game.

A move to Glasgow with Rangers followed making his one and only appearance for the Gers as a late sub in the 0-0 draw at Celtic Park in front of 59,684.

Struggling Premiership outfit Watford was the next port-of-call for the youngster, who was still only 19 years old.

He scored on his debut in the 4-1 FA Cup win against Stockport and even came off the bench in the league loss against Aston Villa and win against West Ham.

He didn't feature the following season and was sent to Swindon Town on loan.

Moses Ashikodi made his debut as a sub in the 2-1 win against Nottingham Forest (also Maurice Malpas' first game in charge) and then started against Crewe Alexandra, Luton Town, Northampton Town and Huddersfield Town. After the loss against Huddersfield, and still no goals - Ashikodi became a bit part player for the remainder of his spell.

In the 3-2 win at home to Huddersfield Town he was brought on in the 77th minute for Anthony McNamee - he huffed and puffed, got booked and was then substituted himself for Christian Roberts in the 90th minute!

His last appearance for Town was in the 2-2 draw with Carlisle.

He did however, score a hat-trick for Swindon in the 6-1 win in the Wiltshire Premier Shield against Chippenham Town!



After Town, he spent some time on loan at Hereford United and played against Swindon in the Johnstone Paint Trophy (a 2-1 win for Swindon).

Ashikodi has since been released by Watford and has yet found a new employer.

Town Career

10 League Appearances

----------------------------

Much of this information was obtained thanks to the superb time and effort of R.B. at http://swindon-town-fc.co.uk/


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The Journalist

Writer: Nellup  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday February 19 2009

Time: 4:10PM

Your Comments

adams is a pretty good player.
bluemooner_mcfc
 

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