SWINDON Town legend Paul Bodin said Ben Garner’s decision to leave the club for Charlton Athletic is ‘disappointing’.

Garner was officially announced as the new Addicks boss on Wednesday as Town confirmed the departure of their former head coach.

Bodin, who has lived just outside Swindon for 30 years, watched Town play a handful of times last season while keeping an eye on Jonny Williams as part of his work in the Welsh FA’s set-up.

The man who famously sent Town into the Premier League in 1993 felt Garner may have owed his old club a touch more respect given Swindon took a chance on him last year.

Bodin said: “I don’t really know the ins and outs of what has gone on, but for the manager to leave when he did, I found that a bit disappointing.

“The chairman has brought him in in difficult circumstances, but they’ve turned it around and Ben had a great team on the pitch.

“For him to leave after less than a year is disappointing. Is there any loyalty in the game anymore? Probably not, for various reasons.

“Of course, it will be disappointing to the players that played under him, but hopefully someone else will come in and do a good job.

“I saw Clem employed a director of football recently, but if they can get the right manager in then fingers crossed it will be another successful year.

“But I think if Ben Garner had stayed for at least another year and built on last season then it would have been at least play-offs and possibly automatic promotion. It’s a shame, but you have to move on quickly.”

With Garner’s exit confirmed a few weeks before pre-season starts, Town can now prepare to name the 42-year-old’s replacement.

Bodin believes Town should hire someone who views the game in a similar light to Garner in order to get the best out of the current crop.

He said: “Let’s hope they appoint a manager quickly and get their recruitment right. With Ben Chorley gone, that will need to be addressed with the new guy.

“They won’t need that many players really when you look at the nucleus of the team. The structure is there, it just depends on the manager that comes in.

“Really, the new guy will have to play a similar style to get the best out of the players again.

“But I’ll be watching with interest, and I wish them all the best. Based on what they achieved last season, can they take that next step this season? I hope so.”