Former Accrington Stanley Star Makes Switch To League Two Rivals

Former Accrington Stanley left-back Rosaire Longelo has signed for League Two rivals Swindon Town after leaving the Wham! Stadium.

The 24-year-old is the Robins’ second signing of the summer, following Tunmise Sobowale and Ollie Clarke who joined from Shrewsbury Town and Mansfield Town respectively. The trio have arrived at the County Ground following Mark Kennedy’s recent appointment at the club after he replaced Michael Flynn at the helm.

Longelo, who was born in DR Congo, came through the academies at Premier League sides West Ham United and Newcastle United. The defender failed to make a senior appearance for either side, making the move to Accrington Stanley in 2020 and playing 82 times for the club, scoring six goals. His brother Emmanuel is also a footballer, plying his trade at League One side Birmingham City.

The fullback had been offered a new deal in East Lancashire but chose to leave the club at the end of last season to explore other options. His departure is part of a summer of upheaval at the club as they make their first start to a campaign without ex-manager John Coleman since 2014. New boss John Doolan hasn’t been afraid to dip into the transfer market in his first window at the club, with signings including Kelsey Mooney and Jimmy Knowles, both from non-league Boston United.

Longelo’s signing comes after Swindon owner Clem Morfuni told BBC Radio Wiltshire that budgets at the club had increased, with the aim of taking the team back to League One.

“Our budget’s quite healthy this season and you’ll see that will be reflected in the players we’ll sign,” Morfuni said.

“When I spoke to Mark Kennedy in regards to the size of the budget and what we need to get promoted, and we told him the budget, he was quite pleased and was like, ‘That’s achievable.’”

Swindon will be hoping for a stronger campaign under the former Lincoln City boss, having finished 19th in League Two last season in which they failed to win any of their last seven games. Longelo’s transfer is a sign that they are willing to make moves in the transfer window to try and return to the third tier.

Writer’s View

This is a disappointing move for Accrington Stanley but one that benefits both the player and Swindon Town greatly. Despite a tough campaign last season, Swindon are hoping to return to League One for the first time since 2021.

With the signing of Longelo, among others, as well as the appointment of Kennedy, this is a season of change in Wiltshire as they attempt to challenge at the top of the division. As for Accrington, their failure to hold on to a key man is a setback in their attempts to climb the leagues as they undergo their own season of change.

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