Swindon Town Head of Football Jamie Russell said that he was very pleased with the direction of travel for the footballing side of the club.

The first team had a difficult season on the pitch last year, although there was success for both the academy and women’s team.

Russell, who has previously talked about overhauling the culture, believes that the behind-the-scenes work has been positive.

He said: “I think from a multi-disciplinary team point of view everything is going in the right direction.

“That has been the biggest thing when speaking to Mark [Kennedy] and getting some of his ideas from being at Manchester City and Lincoln City – that is only going to make those processes stronger.

“Everything that we do will always be an evolving document, it is never the finished article, and we are always looking to learn.

“In terms of the work that has been going on behind the scenes and things that have been put in place, we are really happy with how everything is going at the moment.

“The academy is the foundation of the club and everything that goes on within the academy should be followed elsewhere, there should be that golden thread that runs through the club that links everything together.

“The women’s team, the academy, and the first team – they should all be linked and working in the same direction.

“That is a lot of the work that people don’t see, linking all of these departments together and from under-sevens right the way through, the way we think about recruitment and meetings for under-nines and under-tens is no different to the first team.

“That consistency of approach in how things are done throughout the club is very good.”

When asked what he would want the footballing side of the club to look like in a year’s time, Russell said he was hopeful for success next season.

He said: “It would have a team that the fans and the staff can be proud of.

“I would love to say that we would be in League One and we have had two or three debuts from players in the academy.

“The academy has had a good season and the women’s team has got promoted. That would be utopia for us and these are the things that we are constantly striving for.

“It is not a case of one thing to be good, we are constantly looking to make everything better every day.”