'It's about heading it and kicking it... but he can play too' - Woolfenden impresses Swindon boss Brown
PUBLISHED: 11:00 14 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:56 14 September 2018
Luke Woolfenden has proved his worth in his early weeks as a Swindon Town player following a recommendation from former Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy.
The teenage defender joined the League Two Robins just hours before the loan window closed at the end of August and has already made two appearances, playing his part in two Swindon victories and helping the Wiltshire side keep their first clean sheets of the season.
Manager Phil Brown has been impressed by what he’s seen, after McCarthy suggested he brought him to the County Ground, and believes he has already shown he has what it takes to be a commanding figure in League Two.
“Luke Woolfenden has really staked a claim for a permanent place in the team,” he said. “Bring it on, I think the competition for places is fantastic.
“If I am asking any manager about a centre-half coming to this football club on loan, if I am asking Mick McCarthy about a centre-half and he says it is a no-brainer, then even if I have not seen the player, I am taking the player.
“It is not that I just trust Mick’s word or anything like that, it’s that Mick is a centre-half who knows what it is all about – heading it and kicking it in the second division.
“It is quite simply what it said on the tin, but the lad can play as well. If he heads it and kicks it at the right time and gets it down at the right time, then we have got a player on our hands.”
Woolfenden started in the centre of defence on his Swindon debut at Morecambe before switches to right-back later in the contest with the Robins down to 10 men, before returning to the heart of the back line for Tuesday’s 1-0 win at Newport,
“The key issue to this is not knowing what the second division is all about, it’s about knowing what the manager wants from you,” Brown added.
“I actually do want them to play, but I also want them to head it and kick it when necessary and cause the opposition a problem.
“(Newport striker) Jamille Matt knows his way around the second division like a blind man. For me, he was going to pose a threat on Tuesday and it was good test for them.
“To come away with a clean sheet against their strikers on Tuesday was a testament to both the players (Sid Nelson, on loan from Millwall), not just Luke Woolfenden.”