OLLY Lancashire admits his impending departure from Swindon Town did not come as a surprise, although he is proud to have served as club captain over the past two seasons.

Lancashire’s spell at the Energy Check County Ground will come to an end this summer following confirmation last week that he is one of 11 out-of-contract players to be moving on to pastures new.

In total, central defender Lancashire made 50 League Two starts during his two-year stint at Town – although not one of those came under Richie Wellens, who was appointed Swindon manager back in November.

Lancashire was named club captain by David Flitcroft upon the pair’s arrival at SN1 in the summer of 2017, and he remained a first-choice selection when Phil Brown took the reins last March.

The 30-year-old has no qualms with Wellens opting to put his own stamp on the team following his arrival as manager late last year, and says his lack of recent match action gave a sense of inevitability that he would not be offered a new contract for next season.

“You see these things coming – I played almost every single league game under the two previous managers and I wasn’t able to start one under Richie,” said Lancashire.

“When a new manager comes in, they want to put their stamp on it.

“That’s football, it’s a game of opinions and Richie wants to go down a different route and I wish him and the team all the best.

“The captaincy was something I enjoyed doing. It is a tough football club to be captain of in terms of things that go on behind the scenes, but it is something I very much enjoyed, and it was a pleasure to be captain.

“Now the season has ended, I can enjoy the summer and look forward to next season.”

Lancashire was given the armband at Town in the hope of captaining a promotion-winning side as they sought a place back in League One.

However, those dreams came up short as Swindon finished ninth in his maiden campaign before slipping to 13th in the season just finished.

“I came down here with David Flitcroft to try to get the club promoted,” said Lancashire.

“Looking back to that first season, I think we were fifth in the table when he left and we should have got into the play-offs then.

“Then this season, there was a bad start.

“After watching the lads at Bury away (a 3-1 win on March 30), I thought we were looking good to get into the play-offs. But since then, we didn’t kick on.

“It is disappointing but there are a lot of good teams at this level who are fighting to go up and, unfortunately, we fell short.”

Lancashire’s maiden season at Town was curtailed by injuries as he was limited to just two appearances over the final 10 weeks of the campaign.

A neck issue was the major source of his woes and the defender admitted last summer that he feared it would force him into an early retirement.

However, there have been no such injury problems this season, with Lancashire stating his lack of involvement is merely down to having fallen down the pecking order.

“I think I missed the last 10 games or so of the previous season, which is obviously not ideal, but I worked hard to get back,” said Lancashire.

“I think that was really the only injury I had. I had a slight injury around Christmas time this season, but I have been fit for about five months. The injuries weren’t really a big thing in my eyes.”