Swindon Town Football Club can today confirm that Richie Wellens has been appointed as First-Team Manager.
The 38-year-old will now lead the club going forward with his current contract running until May 2020.
Noel Hunt, a former Republic of Ireland international will be Wellens’ assistant – Hunt has played for a number of clubs including Shamrock Rovers, Reading, Leeds United, Ipswich Town, Southend United, Portsmouth, Wigan Athletic, and Waterford as a player-assistant.
On his arrival, Wellens said: “For me, it’s a great opportunity to manage a football club that is well-run, has a good infrastructure, and a tradition, over the last six or seven years, of playing a style that I want to play. I want to get the ball down, play positive, quick, passing football and bring results and success to this football club, because at this moment it is underachieving.”
“For me, that style of play is the most important thing, exciting the fans. I had my first job at Oldham, which was going fantastically well, but the pitch deteriorated very badly and I had to change the way I played.
“I didn’t want to do that – I won’t have that problem here because the pitch is in fantastic condition.
“I’ll meet the players and as quickly as possible, make them feel comfortable. They had a good weekend result and I want to continue that confidence – Thursday, Friday; we’ll look ahead to the Carlisle game.”
As a player, Wellens began his career at Manchester United graduating after two years in the academy. However, he did not play for the senior side and, in 2000, moved to Blackpool where he made over 200 appearances in five years.
Two-year stints at Oldham Athletic and Doncaster, with promotion to the Championship at Rovers, followed, before a move to Leicester City in 2009. He played a key role in Nigel Pearson’s side that reached the play-offs in 2010, only to be defeated by Cardiff City.
After playing consistently under both Paulo Sousa and Sven Goran Eriksson he won the club’s player of the year award for the 2010/11 season but after captaining the side 19 times under the returning Pearson he left the club in 2013 by mutual consent.
Wellens then joined Doncaster on a short-term deal before extending for 18 months in January 2014. After joining Shrewsbury Town and helping them to League One safety, Manchester-born midfielder moved to then-National League North side, Salford City.
After finishing his playing career, Wellens took up a coaching role at Oldham Athletic in 2017. He was put in charge in September, and following a five-game unbeaten run was given the job on a full-time basis.