Town face opening day test in Kent
Here we go again. Another season has arrived.
Gillingham Team News:
Central defender Simon King and central midfielder Stuart Lewis are expected to miss the first few months of the new season after both rupturing ankle ligaments while playing friendlies at Bromley and Bishops Stortford respectively.
Forward Dennis Oli is also out while midfielder Kevin Maher is rated at 50/50.
Alan Julian, Simon Royce, Barry Fuller, John Nutter, Garry Richards, Josh Gowling, Tom Wynter, Kevin Maher, Jack Payne, Mark Bentley, Rashid Yussuff, Adam Miller, Curtis Weston, Chris Palmer, Andy Barcham, Luke Rooney, Simeon Jackson, Mark McCammon, Jacob Erskine, Luis Cumbers, Andy Pugh.
Player to watch: Curtis Weston
Still only 22 years of age. Weston is known to many football fans as the youngest player to appear in an F.A. Cup Final after Dennis Wise gave him a couple of minutes against Manchester United in 2004.
Weston only played four league games for the Lions before being released in 2006.
It was Dennis Wise who brought the midfielder to Swindon Town in the Summer of 2006 with the club preparing for life in League Two.
Weston's career in SN1 started well under both Dennis Wise and then Paul Sturrock, he featured in all but two games up until the new year including scoring in the home win against Bristol Rovers.
However, after Christmas Weston became a bit part player in the squad with rumours of a falling out with the manager circulating.
Weston agreed to have his contract terminated at the end of the season and was then rescued again by Dennis Wise, who was this time managing Leeds United.
Swindon Town Team News:
Danny Wilson is approaching the new campaign with only Billy Paynter as Town's only striker available for selection on Saturday.
The Swindon manager admits that transfer deals are close but may not arrive before the opening fixture.
Town's only other striker Lee Peacock along with former captain Hasney Aljofree remain long-term absentees from the Swindon Town line-up.
Scott Cuthbert could make his debut but will most likely start from the bench after recovery from surgury.
David Lucas, Scott Cuthbert, Jonathan Douglas, Jerel Ifil, Gordon Greer, Jon-Paul McGovern, Craig Easton, Michael Timlin, Anthony McNamee, Phil Smith, Sean Morrison, Kevin Amankwaah, Callum Kennedy, Alan O'Brien, Lescinel Jean-Francois, Billy Paynter, Lloyd Macklin, Nathan Thompson, Mark Marshall, Jakob Jesionkowski, Kasali Yinka Casal, Mark Scott, Kurt Hammonds.
Player to watch: Alan O'Brien
The former Irish international has a lot to prove after never really winning over the Hibernian faithful before joining Swindon this Summer.
The midfielder is quick and could prove a fine aquisition...
Match Facts & Stats
Historically Swindon have a slight edge over Gillingham results wise.
In 131 competitive fixtures between the two clubs Swindon have
After events in the 1970's and 1980's many of the two clubs supporters (mostly those who remember these fixtures) have had a somewhat nasty rivalry that intensifies when the clus meet. So much so that these fixtures have to kick-off at midday!
The first of these infamous games occurred at Priestfield in 1979 with Town recovering to earn a 2-2 draw.
However, the most significant fixture the two clubs played was the 1987 Third Division Play-Offs. Gillingham won the 1st Leg 1-0 but Swindon secured promotion thanks to a 3-1 2nd leg with with goals from Peter Coyne, Mark Jones and a Karl Elsey own goal.
Last 5 Fixtures
-26/04/08: Gillingham 1-1 Swindon Town
06/10/07: Swindon Town 5-0 Gillingham
14/02/06: Swindon Town 1-0 Gillingham
14/01/06: Gillingham 3-0 Swindon Town
29/05/87: Swindon Town 3-1 Gillingham
Played for Both Clubs
Howard Pritchard played two seasons for Swindon (81-83) sandwiched between two spells with Bristol City. Pritchard played 65 league games for Town scoring 11 times.
He moved to Gillingham in 1986 and played against Swindon in the '87 Play-Offs.
Others include Curtis Weston, Iffy Onuora, Ty Gooden, Alan Reeves, David Peach and Aaron Brown.
Referee: Graham Horwood
The last fixture Horwood officiated involving Swindon Town was last seasons 2-0 home win over Oldham Athletic. Jack Smith and Sean Morrison proving the unlikely goalscorers.
Assistants: Warren Atkin and Gary Young
4th Official: David Rock
A stalemate (1-1).
The first of our Milton Keynes Dons double header. The first fixture is away in the League Cup on Tuesday 11 August.