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Swindon name ex-Lincoln boss Kennedy as head coach

Swindon Town have appointed former Lincoln City boss Mark Kennedy as their new head coach on a two-year contract.

Kennedy left the Imps in October 2023 after 18 months in the job, winning 18 of his 57 league games in charge.

The 48-year-old previously briefly managed Macclesfield and worked as a coach at Ipswich and Birmingham before joining Lincoln.

Swindon endured one of their worst campaigns in 2023-24, finishing 19th in League Two, four places above the relegation zone.

Former Republic of Ireland winger Kennedy retired from playing in 2012 after a career that included spells at Millwall, Liverpool, Manchester City, Wolves, Crystal Palace and Cardiff City.

He said he was "looking forward" to the project already in place at the club.

"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," Kennedy said.

Kennedy becomes Swindon's fifth permanent manager since July 2021, following Ben Garner, Scott Lindsey, Jody Morris and Michael Flynn.

Flynn left in January after only eight months at the helm, with development phase and loans manager Gavin Gunning taking interim charge for the rest of the season.

However, Swindon only won five out of 18 games under Gunning - after winning only nine earlier under Flynn - and ended the season with their lowest league position in 40 years.

"His [Kennedy's] approach and coaching style will provide strong leadership, motivation and guidance to all players," said Swindon's head of football Jamie Russell.

"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 [English Football League] 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."

Off the field, Swindon have also endured a turbulent time over the past 12 months.

Fan club Trust STFC called for owner Clem Morfuni to sell the club earlier this month, writing in an open letter that they had "lost confidence and trust" in the leadership.

Morfuni, who took over in 2021, was fined in March by the EFL for failing to declare a transfer of shares in Swindon while in January the club was placed under a transfer embargo for late HMRC payments.

Kennedy said that connection between the club and fans was "vital" to the team's success.

"That's something that I'm committed to and I hope that I can continue to grow and make stronger whilst I'm here," he said.