Charlton continued this week to plunder Swindon Town FC for what we hope will be the jewels which will propel us towards promotion to The Championship. Following Mandela Egbo through the door was goalkeeper Joe Wollacott, who was named in the League Two Team of the Season for the 2021/22 campaign.
Wollacott, a 25 year old Bristolian of Ghanain descent, has signed a three-year deal in SE7
Having joined Bristol City as a seventeen year old in 2013 he remained at Ashton Gate until 2021 despite never making a first team appearance for the club. He spent time on loan at almost every non-League west country club you can think of - Truro, Gloucester, Weymouth, Bath - before ending up at Forest Green in 2019. He made his debut for FGR at The Valley where he saved a Jake Forster-Caskey penalty in an EFL cup tie which the visitors subsequently won on penalties.
He initially joined Swindon on an emergency seven day loan in February 2021 but signed a one year contract four months later and made 37 appearances last season as Swindon just failed to make the League Two play-off final.
In the last two years he has also made ten international appearances for Ghana in World Cup qualification and Africa Cup of Nations ties. It is safe to assume that he will be in the Ghana squad for the World Cup finals which begin in November.
Wollacott will be reunited with his former Manager Ben Garner. He said: “Ben being here made it an easy decision. We had a really good season last year. Obviously I know how he wants to play and I know how he wants his goalkeeper to play. I feel like, for the next step in my career, he can really develop my game."
Garner was pleased to add the goalkeeper: "It’s another strong signing for us. Obviously Jojo is a player that I know very well having worked with him last season. I think he is a player with huge potential moving forwards as well and, again, he fits the character and the type of person that we want to bring into the football club.”
Ashley Maynard-Brewer has joined Gillingham on a season-long loan so it looks as if Joe will be battling with Craig MacGillivray for what was once the green jersey.
Also travelling up the M4 is Scott Marshall who becomes our first-team Assistant Coach. Marshall, who came through the Arsenal youth system, played 25 games for the Gunners and, after short spells at Southampton and Celtic, had three seasons at Brentford. He has coached at Brentford, Norwich City, Aston Villa, Reading and Swindon and was caretaker manager at Villa for one game and Reading for three. Speaking of his appointment at Charlton, Marshall said he was pleased to be reunited with Garner: “I am delighted, we know each other well from last season. It is great to get a chance to put our skills together again and get Charlton moving in the right direction."
Having joined in training he added: "I really enjoyed the first morning. It was great to get back out on the grass and see the ball rolling again. It's always good on the first day back of a pre-season. The excitement of a new season ahead. It was great, you can feel that energy around"
Ben Garner said: "I'm really pleased to get him here. He's very talented as a coach but also as a person. He is the type of person that I want at the football club and his character is just as important as his ability on the training field"