Paolo di Canio Named As New Swindon Town Manager

Paul Smith by Paul Smith / 20 May 2011, 13:08

Paolo di Canio will begin his managerial career at the County Ground after being named as the new manager of Swindon Town. The Robins will hope that the flamboyant Italian can breathe a new lease of life into the struggling club after a dismal season which culminated in relegation to League Two. The 42-year-old succeeds Paul Hart as the club's permanent manager after the later was sacked following Swindon's relegation from League One, and he will no doubt be a popular choice amongst players and supporters alike due to his passion, charisma and competitiveness.

Di Canio, who has been working as a pundit in Italy since he retired from playing in 2008, beat off stiff competition from Leicester City coach Dietmar Hamann, ex-Scotland manager George Burley and former Bristol Rovers boss Paul Trollope to land the Swindon job. The appointment now definitely rules the former West Ham player out of the running of becoming the next West Ham manager.

Di Canio enjoyed a successful but controversial playing career, where he had spells at the likes of Lazio, Juventus, AC Milan, West Ham and Celtic. He is probably most well known for his shove on referee Paul Alcock in 1998, which resulted in an 11 game ban, and also his fascist salute to a group of Lazio supporters during his second spell at the club. His playing days were also jam-packed with numerous highlights, including his scorching volley for West Ham against Wimbledon in 2000 which deservedly won the BBC Goal of the Season award. The following year he won the Fifa Fair Play Award for catching the ball after the Everton goalkeeper Paul Gerrard picked up a nasty injury.

Di Canio has reportedly been interested in a move into management for some time, but it was widely assumed that he would start his managerial career at a club in the upper echelons of the game. He will now be tasked with getting Swindon out of the bottom tier of the Football League following the club's relegation from League One this season. Sky Bet have Swindon as the second favourites at 8/1 to win League Two next season.

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