JOHN McGreal has been unveiled as Swindon Town's new manager on a two-year deal.

The former Colchester United boss, 48, replaces John Sheridan in the hotseat as Town prepare for life back in Sky Bet League Two in 2021/22 - and immediately set his sights on promotion.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted. With the relegation this season, it’s a club I look upon in League Two as a League One club and that’s our aim this season to try and get the club back to where it should be.

“It’s Swindon Town. That alone makes you want to apply for the job. I’m sure there were numerous applicants and I’m happy to get my hands on it.

"There’s a lot of work to be done, a lot of players we need to bring in and I’m looking forward to that challenge.”

Having been sacked in July 2020 after losing to Exeter City in extra time of the League Two play-off semi-finals, McGreal ended an 11-year association with Colchester and has been out of work ever since.

He has signed a two-year contract, keeping him at the County Ground until the summer  of 2023.

Born in Liverpool, McGreal began his playing career at local club Tranmere Rovers, where he made 233 appearances in all competitions.

Having spent nearly 10 years at Prenton Park, McGreal signed for Ipswich Town in the summer of 1999. 

Making his debut at the beginning of the 1999/00 season, the defender played 40 times in all competitions that campaign, helping the Tractor Boys to promotion to the Premier League alongside Charlton Athletic and Manchester City via the play-offs.

His first goal for the club came in the third game of the next season in a 3-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park.

In 2004, McGreal signed for Burnley on a three-year deal under now Shrewsbury Town boss Steve Cotterill. During his time with the Clarets, he amassed more one 100 appearances over three seasons.

Following his playing days, McGreal obtained his UEFA B Licence back in the Ipswich area with guidance from ex-teammate Jim Magilton.

In 2009, his coaching career started as he joined Colchester United’s Academy as a professional development coach. This lead to his appointment as joint-U18’s manager with Wayne Brown.

When Colchester were relegated to League Two in 2016, McGreal took over as manager of The Us, replacing Kevin Keen. 

He won 76 of his 203 matches at the helm in Essex, drawing 55 and losing 72.

Town director of football Paul Jewell said: “We’re really pleased with the appointment. There were a lot of good candidates who applied for the job.

“We wanted someone who was hungry and here to prove a point. The club needs some positivity at the moment and I’m sure John will bring that.

“John has the experience at this level, he’s young and he’s got good ideas and hopefully he can be an appointment that has a positive effect on us.”

"Everyone at the club looks forward to working with John and we believe he is the right man to guide us back up to League One."