The goalkeeping position was a topic of much debate in the years leading up to the 2009/10 campaign. For three seasons Town fans witnessed Phil Smith take on Peter Brezovan for the Number 1 jersey.
Dennis Wise preferred Brezovan until injury finished the Slovakian during Wise’s brief tenure while Paul Sturrock and Maurice Malpas chopped and changed between the two. This battle argued against the notion that two competitve goalkeepers at a club is a good thing because neither looked comfortable, always looking like they were in te brink of being dropped (which was often the case).
Under Danny Wilson, Phil Smith eventually won a new deal while Brezovan was released (he now plays for Brighton under Wise’s former assistant Gus Poyet). However, Wilson made finding a new first choice shotstopper one of his top transfer priorities during the summer of 2009.
But it wasn’t a long drawn affair as he went for a player he had pursued at other clubs in the past, he went for David Lucas.
The former England Under-21 cap had only been released by Leeds United a matter of days before he was linked to Swindon. His spell at Elland Road was mostly spent on the bench but he had performed magnificantly against Swindon Town earlier, a performance that was noted by the Town faithful at the time. Swindon had their new number 1.
It came as a surprise to learn that Danny Wilson’s goalkeeper hunt was over as former Poland Under-21 international Jakub Jesionkowski on a free transfer from Zaglebie Lubin. Adding Mark Scott, had also signed pro forms, to the scenario meant that Swindon had four professional goalkeepers in the ranks for the first time in years.
But the story of the season was that of consistancy between the sticks as David Lucas made the position his own with some solid, assured performances that were a breath of fresh air for Town fans after years of nervous outings by Smith and Brezovan.
Lucas’ experience combined with the arrival of former Hartlepool United goalkeeping coach George Wood, who also got the best out if Phil Smith when he was called upon. Yes, there were bad days at the office but consistancy was definately on the list of things that have improved under Danny Wilson.
lean Sheets: 15*
* Includes the 5 minutes he played at Charlton Athletic.
lean Sheets: 4
Jesionkowski had the impossible task of trying to force his way into the first team. He featured regularly for the reserves throughout the campaign and was on the bench in 7 first team matches.
The 4th choice spent time on loan at Hungerford Town, Chippenham Town and Banbury United during the season.
Still only 19, he has been offered a new deal for the 2010/11 season.
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