DION Conroy is a leading candidate to captain Swindon Town this season, after the club confirmed a one-year deal had been agreed to extend his stay at the County Ground.

Conroy, 23, was the subject of heavy criticism from manager Richie Wellens when he first linked up at SN1.

Wellens slammed the ex-Chelsea defender’s efforts in training and called on his physique to improve after Town’s humiliating 4-0 loss against Carlisle at home in November – Wellens’ first game in charge.

But an appearance against Northampton on Boxing Day seemingly turned Conroy’s season around, as he went on to feature in 20 more games – scoring one goal against Morecambe.

Wellens stated Conroy’s attitude is what impressed him most in the second part of last season, adding that his composure on the ball is a key element to his game.

“I think everybody knows that Dion has a tremendous ability to play and pass the ball out from the back – he has got tremendous composure,” said Wellens.

“The attitude to dig in and get his head down impressed me because the talent was already there, it was about getting the talent to come out in the right way.

Conroy is Town’s third player from the four that were offered fresh deals after the club announced its released and retained list.

Will Henry and Joe Romanski agreed to stay, while Kyle Knoyle opted for a move to Cambridge.

Lawrence Vigouroux was also offered a contract, but declined the option to extend his Swindon stay.

Former skipper Olly Lancashire’s move to Crewe has opened the door for the 2019-20 captain’s role. And Wellens will assess his options during the club’s pre-season fixtures, which starts on Tuesday, July 2, at Brimscombe and Thrupp.

Wellens added: “In the second half of the season, he conducted himself in the right manner – hence why I gave him the captaincy and hence why his performances improved.

“I will assess the captaincy over pre-season. Dion had it at the end of last season, so he will 100 per cent be in my thinking for that.”