SWINDON Town Ladies chairman Martin Wheeler is aiming for a season of consolidation under new first team manager Leonie Wade.

Wade joins the club and has previous experience with West Ham United Ladies, as well as Blackburn Rovers Ladies, who are in the FA Women’s Premier League Northern Division, which is the same level as the Wiltshire side. After just over a month without a manager, the club announced Wade had agreed to take the reins on social media on Monday.

Previous manager Steve Robertson stepped down from the role at the end of May but sat in on the interview process to ease the transitional period.

“The job was advertised through the Wiltshire FA and we had nine applicants altogether,” said Wheeler.

“There was a certain criteria, in terms of coaching badges, which had to be met.

“Initially I think we have to aim for survival again next season, we can build and be more progressive than we have been.

“We did a lot purely by surviving in the league we were in last season. It was very different from where we came from and the standard was far higher.

“As a team we are now a bit more experienced and knowledgeable about the teams we are going to be facing, Leonie has knowledge about the league which will be handy.”

Town managed to cling to their league status last term after a frustrating season saw them register two wins and two draws out of 20 games.

That form saw them claim second-from-bottom, but in the eyes of Wheeler, Robertson did better than anticipated last year.

“The previous manager (Robertson) left on the best of terms,” added Wheeler. "He achieved our aspirations but exceeded our expectations and I have to compliment him on helping us in the transition with the new manager.

“He sat in on the interviews with us and that became a link between the two, he was extremely helpful in recruiting the replacement.”