JOE Romanski has been ordered by Swindon Town manager Richie Wellens to be as fit and strong as possible throughout the 2019-20 season, after the club confirmed yesterday that the teenager agreed to an additional season at the County Ground.

Romanski spent the conclusion of last season at Bath City, with Town boss Wellens unsure at the time regarding the 19-year-old’s future at SN1.

After impressing in his eight appearances for the Romans, Wellens promptly offered the teenager an extension to his contract.

It means the Reading-born defender is the only Academy graduate from 2017-18 to successfully maintain his spot in Town’s squad, following the release of Sol Pryce and Jordan Edwards.

Coupled with the departures of Marc Richards, James Dunne, Olly Lancashire, Jak McCourt, Chris Robertson and Martin Smith, Romanski stated he is pleased with the faith Wellens has in his ability.

And he now has high ambitions to push for a regular first-team spot by proving himself when pre-season starts next month.

He said: “As we know, Richie has let quite a few of the boys go.

“It means a lot for him to keep me on, hopefully I can pay him back.

“He wants me to be as fit and strong as possible. Positions will be up for grabs at the start of the year, and I want to make my mark on the team.”

Wellens made no secret of his frustration at some players’ decisions to remain in the Swindon squad following a busy January transfer window.

But Romanski admitted he required no second invitation to temporarily drop down the leagues in search of valuable playing time.

Despite losing 3-1 to Wealdstone in the play-off eliminator, Town’s teenage defender insists he has learnt plenty from his time down the M4.

“The loan move has done me well, I’ve gained valuable experience from that and I feel better prepared for it,” said Romanski.

“I was keen to get a loan stint under my belt, minutes was my main aim.

“We kept five clean sheets during my time there, and I’ve learnt plenty.

“My first priority is to now get into that first-team. We’ll be going for promotion this year, we want to be competitive.”