An Introduction to Swindon Town

In the latest of our special series of features showcasing teams playing at all levels of women’s football, I talk to Rianne Lewis as she introduces me to her team, Swindon Town.

Firstly, tell us about yourself and your role within the club?
I joined Swindon Town at the start of last season so this is currently my second season with the club. I am a central midfielder who likes to be the engine of the team but I can play anywhere across the park if needed to.

What league is your club in and what are the aspirations for the season?
We play our football in the Women’s National League South West Division One. We want to use this season to build ourselves as a team, with new coaching staff, new players and new club visions it is important we are in it together. Whilst we do want to use this season to unite as a club we also want to be taking steps towards our long term goals. We are going to finish the second half of the season strongly by picking up points and climbing places in the table.

Photo: @RianneTLewis

Where can we see you play your home games this season?
We play our home games at Fairford Town Football Club, Cinder Lane.

Who’s the boss?
Jamie Lloyd-Davies is our first team manager, he has come in with a few new styles of play which brings some structured variation to the team. He’s been working hard, along with his coaching team, on the training ground and off of it as-well. The classroom and gym sessions that they have implemented brings so many positives to the players and it gives us the facility to add much more to our game.

How does the first team set themselves up?
Our set up and style is evolving, the management team are coming up with different styles of play, our players are developing and are always wanting to better themselves so we are able to adapt to different formations. We have so much talent all across the board, we can play the quick counter-attacking football when we need to with the pace we have but we can also play the patient passing game too with the ability we have on the ball.

Polly New. Photo: @SwindonTownWFC

Could you tell me about your club captain and what she brings to the team?
Polly New is our club captain, she brings experience to the team and with younger players looking to link up with the first team this is important to have.

Who should we put our money on to be top goal scorer this season?
At the moment Helena Diaz-Butcher is leading the race. She is such a danger around goal so I’m sure she will keep adding to her tally. Our recent signing Lauren Kayll has a natural eye for goal, I can see her really pushing Helena for the title. She is one to watch.

Helena Diaz-Butcher. Photo: @SwindonTownWFC

Who is the biggest joker that always brings a smile to the faces of their teammates or just simply just the most annoying prankster?
It’s got to be Alice Bowden, she is always the life and soul of the changing room. You can count on Alice to get heads lifted when needed but you can also count on her to be the one responsible for 90% of the mischief that goes on. Biggest joker, best dancer but even better teammate.

Who is the unsung hero within the squad?
This is a hard one as I feel like we have a few unsung heroes in the squad. Helena Diaz-Butcher has to be one of them, she previously played for our development side but has worked so hard to get to where she is today. She is a vital player in our first team, she’s currently our top goalscorer but she is also the most unselfish player to play with. Her assists list is never-ending. There’s never any moaning, she will just get on and do whatever is asked of her. I think she’s played nearly every position on the pitch but she has done it with no questions for the sake of the team.

Alice Telling is also another unsung hero. Whatever is thrown at that girl she just takes it in her stride. Her footballing brain, passing ability and composure is up there with the best in the league. Like Helena, she just cracks on and does what is asked of her. In the past, we’ve relied on her in many positions, in her preferred position which is the centre of the park but also at centre back and even in goal.

Who is the young gun within the squad who we should watch out for this season?
It’s got to be Ruby Scahill, this is a player with a ridiculous amount of talent. She’s my companion in the middle who I know would do anything for me on that pitch. She always wants to learn and better herself, this girl will never give up. She’s an absolute engine in that middle and can dictate any game. For a player so young she has so much ability, I cannot wait to watch her grow even more as a player. She is one to watch for the future.

Photo: @SwindonTownWFC

Where can we follow the club’s progress this season?
You can follow us on Twitter and Instagram @SwindonTownWFC

Stuart Barker
hellosince71@gmail.com