Swindon Town did all they could apart from offering League One football in their pursuit of reigning Player of the Season Dan Kemp.

The 25-year-old confirmed his move to Stevenage this week after The Adver reported that Swindon had missed out on signing him despite a strong effort due to his desire to play in the third tier.

Head of Football Jamie Russell said that he believed that Town had done everything they could to try and persuade the midfielder but could not offer him what he really wanted.

He said: “I think that the only thing which we couldn’t do for Dan was give him League One football.

“We did everything else, and I think that is literally all it came down to.

“Mark [Kennedy] spoke to Dan, we spent a lot of time with Dan’s agent; we knew of the other interest and ultimately the only thing we could not give him was League One football. Unfortunately, you can’t get everyone that you want.”

Kennedy had looked to help with the pursuit of Kemp and was also mentioned by Tunmise Sobowale as a big factor in his decision to join Swindon, and Russell revealed that he had been an invaluable resource since coming through the door.

He said: “Mark said very much from day one ‘I don’t want to be spending hours on the phone with agents, I will just pass them on.’

“But he has been excellent, whatever we need to get done, he will do it and he has spoken to all of the players.

“It has really helped get some players over the line because we can only sell that part of the club: this is the strategy, this is the philosophy, this is what we are doing, this is where we want to go, and we want you to be part of the journey.

“When they are hearing that from the head coach as well it is a lot more powerful, I can only do the sales pitch to a certain point and then we pass it over to Mark.

“At the moment it is really difficult because players are going on holiday and they are in different parts of the country, ideally we would want to do that face-to-face, meet up with them and present what the club is, but we have had to do that over the phone and over Zoom to get the deals done that we have done so far.”