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Mixed reaction from fans as Swindon appoint ex-Premier League and EFL player turned head coach

There has been mixed reaction from fans as Swindon Town appoint ex-Premier League and EFL player turned head coach Mark Kennedy.

The 48 year old, who last managed Lincoln City, has signed a two-year contract with the Robins, who have just had their worst campaigns in their history.

During his time at Lincoln, he led the team for 18 months and picked up 18 wins out of 57 league games. But now he is tasked with trying to turn Swindon’s form around having had a challenging season in 2023-24, finishing 19th in League Two, narrowly avoiding relegation by four places.


Swindon Town Football Club are delighted to confirm the appointment of Mark Kennedy as head coach on a two-year contract.

The 48-year-old joins Swindon Town following a strong showing with League One side Lincoln City, where he guided the Imps to a respectable 11th place in the third tier in his first full season in charge.

Kennedy also held the head coach role with Macclesfield Town back in 2020, with the Irishman also previously holding several key coaching roles with the likes of Manchester City, Wolves and recently-promoted Ipswich Town to support his experience going into his exciting new role with Town for 2024-25.

The former professional also boasts an extensive playing career which saw him play in both the Premier League and Championship across his career, starting out with Millwall before representing the likes of Liverpool, Wimbledon, Manchester City and Wolves in the top tier of English football.

Kennedy has also represented his country on numerous occasions, playing over 30 times and scoring on four occasions for the Republic of Ireland too.

His work with Swindon Town Football Club will begin with immediate effect, ready for pre-season ahead of the 2024/25 Sky Bet League Two season. Details of Mark’s coaching staff going into the new season will be confirmed in due course. 

Following his arrival, Swindon Town’s new head coach Mark Kennedy said upon joining the club:

“Firstly, I’m really excited to be here at Swindon Town and I’m very much looking forward to the project that is in place here.

“I also think it’s crucial we look forward now and plan for the future with the exciting plans here at this sleeping giant of a football club, which I’m confident we can all achieve if we’re all pulling in the same direction.

“Another key factor that I think is vital to us being successful together, is the connection we build between the club and the fanbase, that’s something that I’m committed to and I hope that I can continue to grow and make stronger whilst I’m here.

“I look forward to meeting you all soon and I’m confident that if we can put strong foundations in place and build on the positives here at the football club, so that we will have a successful and exciting time during my period in charge.”

Following the appointment, Head of Football Jamie Russell said, “Mark’s introduction to the club brings us a new start with fresh ideas and something we are very much looking forward to.

“His approach and coaching style will provide strong leadership, motivation, and guidance to all players.

“His coaching qualities can also help every player to develop regardless of age due to his experience in coaching at category 1 academies, working with first-team players across the EFL and finally from being an elite player who has represented his country on several occasions and played in solely the top-two tiers of English football.

“Another attribute Mark will bring is a passion for being at Swindon Town, and delivering the huge potential we all know this club has and we’re confident he can lead us in guiding the club to this level.

“This appointment will generate excitement and interest among fans as Mark will show through his dedication to supporting fan engagement across the club and we are delighted he has agreed to join us here ahead of the new season and look forward to seeing what he’ll bring to our first-team footballing department too.

“Overall, the appointment of Mark Kennedy as our new Head Coach is an opportunity for positive change and progress across Swindon Town Football Club.”

Welcome to Wiltshire, Mark!

Join us back at The County Ground for the 2024/25 season, with Town fans able to renew your Season Tickets here!


Youth career

Senior career
1992–1995 – Millwall – 43 games (9 goals)
1995–1998 – Liverpool – 16 games (0 goals)
1998 → Queens Park Rangers (loan) – 8 games (2 goals)
1998–1999 – Wimbledon – 21 games (0 goals)
1999–2001 – Manchester City – 66 games (8 goals)
2001–2006 – Wolverhampton Wanderers – 167 games (12 goals)
2006–2008 – Crystal Palace – 46 games (1 goal)
2008–2010 – Cardiff City – 66 games (0 goals)
2010–2012 – Ipswich Town – 33 games (0 goals)
Total – 466 games (32 goals)

International career
1992 – Republic of Ireland U17 – 1 game (0 goals)
1994–1996 – Republic of Ireland U21 – 4 games (4 goals)
1995–2002 – Republic of Ireland – 34 games (4 goals)

Managerial statistics
Macclesfield Town – 16 January 2020 until 12 August 2020 – G12 W1 D3 L8 – 8.3 win %
Lincoln City – 12 May 2022 until 18 October 2023 – G73 W25 D27 L21 – 34.2 win %
Total – G85 W26 D30 L29 – 30.6 win %

This is how fans reacted as Swindon appoint the ex-Premier League and EFL player turned head coach…

@SN1Insider: He wouldn’t happen to be pals with the dad of one of our silent owners, would he? #jobsfortheboys

@snillocluap: Head Coach??? Would rather have had an experienced manager who knows how to get out of this league!

@PjR1293: Welcome, Mark. Glad you’ve taken the opportunity to take us to non league.

@JoshBarclay9: Doesn’t and shouldn’t change our position as a fan base and Trust. He is just another manager who won’t be backed and will be gone before the end of the season. The club is still a mess this changes nothing unless it is built upon which history has shown us it won’t be.

@manlik3padzz: All the best mark, always liked you when you was manager and was very good at setting our team up to be hard to play against and set the foundations of what became a great end to the campaign for Skubala and co

@GeorgePBishop8: 5 months for this 🤣 guy has like a 28% win ratio nearly as bad as Gav…… but I wish him all the best and hopefully he gets given the right tools for the job

@Crystall_Tips: Bah humbug. A grudging.welcome – not because it’s Kennedy, but because it’s not The Other Announcement. Think this appointment via a shitty stock photo will make us overlook what’s going on behind the scenes? NO. #moveovermorfuni

@craigboorer: Holy shit something happened!

@harrisonawX: 🇮🇪 revolution continues 🤝 welcome and good luck 😳👍🏻

@Samhxrt: Welcome in Mark. ❤️

@CieslaMike: Allegedly mate of our minority share holders father… and they supposedly have no influence over day to day running of the club. List of lies is growing 🤥

@dickostfc: Very underwhelming. Good luck to the guy he’s gonna need it. Hope he has a long list of names of players he wants because he’s unlikely to get his 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th or 6th choices!!

@TomFarmer2712: “looking forward to the project” what project brev 😭😭😭

@jayrocks_666: Welcome to the circus Mark. I hope you get proper backing from the club.

@sharpbe01: Welcome Mark.

@pieman80: Good, a solid appointment

@mrjacktanner: Good luck, hope he knows what he’s letting himself in for

@MartinCrook1208: It’s a start….. 🔴⚪️

@JamieD_STFC: Welcome Mark, big test ahead now. Most important thing to take away from this is that Mad Gav is not the manager.. THANK FUCK! I seriously hope this works 🤦🏻‍♂️

@Craig_B_Jones96: Has the poor chap been shown the whole picture

@Scribblemilk: Another bizarre appointment, a club with no clue in what they are doing.

@Sawf74: More excited by the kellogs announcement earlier. Another ownership shill. Great. Guess this means this mob ain’t going anywhere.

@GlenHarris25: Welcome mark 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

@archstfcc: hats off to the media team as per usual. absolutely stunning graphic guys, continue to be in awe of what you are able to achieve 🙏

@Webby6670: Excellent news 👏🏼 👏🏼

@RICHARD1977: Good luck. Meet and greet plz

@DaniRoseWilson: Please back him.

@Fletcher23595: Good luck Mark

@jettight19: Good appointment now I want the club to back him and bring in experienced players and keep him for the season and not sack him when there’s a bit of bad form Imo


@DeanMcMackin: As always i wish him the best. All i want is a successful club and successful ownership. Hit the ground running and prove everyone wrong and i will be delighted

@Ryan_Rosee: Commiserations to Swindon Town

@LegallySwin: Well done Clem, you’ve sold one more season ticket with this appointment. #stfc #coyr

@charliebeest: I’m not going to say I was ‘anti-Kennedy’ at any point during his Lincoln Tenure, but did feel that the end of his time here came at the right time, yet I still wish him well. Unfortunately, I doubt he’ll do well there. Not an indictment on him necessarily, but all factors.

@Michael_Benke: A manager with some experience who can talk to players on their level is about the best we can hope for atm so a baby step in the right direction. Can’t get too excited until we see some movement with the squad but wish him all the best #stfc

@Alfiesims08: I’m quite a big fan of this just hope he gets the financial backing #STFC

@declan_pike: I like it. Loads of experience in u23’s & 21’s and a mid table league one finish. I recon let him cook

@jordaanosborne: Really happy with this. Done good solid job with Lincoln in Div above. Just need Clem to give him the facts STRAIGHT UP. 🔴🔴🔴

@TJMEERKAT: Just had a little nap and I wake up to this, ABOUT FUCKING TIME!


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