Swindon Town: Mark Cooper says promotion will help keep stars

Massimo Luongo
Swindon Town finished fourth in League One this season

Swindon Town will have a "real opportunity" to keep hold of their star players if they win Sunday's League One play-off final, says boss Mark Cooper.

The Robins face Preston North End at Wembley for a spot in the Championship.

It has been reported that Australia midfielder Massimo Luongo, 22, could leave in the summer, while a number of other players are out of contract.

"If we can keep them all and add to it, who knows next year?" Cooper, 46, told BBC Points West.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Play-off final Cooper's 'biggest game'

"I think over the two years that we've been together they've really enjoyed themselves, and I think they'll want to give it one real push to make it a fairytale.

"I'm sure if we do manage to do it, we'll get a real opportunity to keep the goalkeeper [Wes Foderingham], who's out of contract, we might be able to keep Mass [Massimo Luongo], who's on everybody's minds, and Ben Gladwin.

"For them and their careers, everything changes. Either they stay with us and get better contracts or they move on to bigger and better things. If they do go there and get that result, everybody wins."

In addition to 24-year-old keeper Foderingham, 21-goal top scorer Andy Williams, 28, is also out of contract in the summer.

Luongo signed for Swindon from Tottenham on a three-year deal in 2013, after initially joining for a two-month loan stint.

Massimo Luongo
Massimo Luongo scored from 25 yards as Australia won the Asian Cup final earlier this year

He made his debut for Australia in March 2014 and was named player of the tournament at this year's Asian Cup after scoring in the home nation's 2-1 extra-time victory over South Korea in the final.

In February, he told Australian broadcaster SBS he wanted a "new challenge" and that "if I keep doing what I'm doing here, I probably know for myself I won't be here next year".

But, speaking ahead of Sunday's Wembley showpiece, Luongo said: "I really want to just go out there and have a great game. Because I'm so close with the boys here and the club's been really good to me, I just want to do everything I can to get them promoted.

"Getting a team promoted is good at any club. Wherever you end up you'll always have that in your locker. I'll definitely remember it with the other good things I've done in my career if we do it."

Top Stories