RICHIE Wellens says this season “is only the start” after making his new three-and-a-half year deal at Swindon Town official.

Last week it was announced the Town boss had agreed terms to a new contract with the club amid interest from League One Blackpool – though on Monday Wellens revealed the formality of putting pen to paper was yet to be done.

Before Tuesday night’s win over Scunthorpe – a result which extended Swindon’s advantage at the top of League 2 to three points - it was confirmed Wellens had fully sealed the deal.

That is a far cry from the 39-year-old’s tumultuous time in charge of Oldham Athletic two seasons ago.

After becoming disenchanted by the Boundary Park circus, Wellens said his passion for the game has been renewed in Wiltshire.

“The chairman has been fantastic with me,” Wellens said. “My previous job didn’t end well. I was disillusioned; it was a circus.

“I probably thought ‘you know what, can I be bothered? I’ve done all right out of football, I can go home and get my golf handicap down and spend more time with the kids’.

“I spoke a number of times with Paul Jewell and he was the one that pushed me and pushed me to give it another go, because you’ll get a good chairman and it’ll make you enjoy it as much as you can enjoy it.

“Then the chairman gave me an opportunity. I would have come here for free.

“I can’t speak highly enough of Paul Jewell and the chairman because they’ve given me an opportunity I’d like to think I’ve taken and I’ve brought the club to a better place.

“But this is only the start, because one thing I won’t do, I’ll never take my foot off the pedal and I expect the players to be the same.”

With his own future sorted, Wellens is hopeful his extension will encourage those players out-of-contract in the summer to follow suit.

The Town boss also reiterated his desire for the club to be challenging for a League One play-off spot in the not-too-distant future.

“Exciting times ahead,” he said. “I think it gives stability for the players that are here, we’ve got a number of players out of contract in the summer.

“And I think every player would trust what I say. It’s difficult as a manager because sometimes you have to put a spin on things.

“But I think the players can believe what I say and I would like to take this squad forward and keep improving it.”

Wellens added: “I’m not going to turn around to you and say in two or three seasons we’re going to be in the Championship, because that’s a tough ask.

“But before I finish this contract I would like to be competing in and around the play-offs for a Championship position.”