view Nicholas's match-by-match record
 
Andy NICHOLAS

A left sided defender, Nicholas was signed on a year's contract in July 2004 after being released by Liverpool, where he was the under-19 club captain. He made his Town debut on 15th October 2003, in a 2-1 defeat at Boston in the LDV Vans Trophy.

The following Saturday, Nicholas was brought on as a substitute in a disastrous 3-0 reverse at Chesterfield, and after the game, manager Andy King declared he would never play Adrian Viveash, Alan Reeves and Matt Heywood in the team together again - so when Andy Gurney was suspended for the match with Port Vale two weeks later, Nicholas was handed his full league debut, on the left side of a back three. Though it wasn't in his favoured position, Nicholas was impressive, and he remained a regular feature of the starting line-up for the rest of the season. Soon afterwards, the Town switched to a 4-4-2 formation, and Nicholas reverted to his usual role, as a left back.

Though he perhaps looked nervous at times, Nicholas was a very quick player - at Liverpool, he was timed as being quicker than Michael Owen - and also, he possessed a brilliant long throw. He signed a two year extension to his contract in February 2004, tying him to the club until 2006, and, at the end of the season, he picked up the Supporter's Trust Young Player of the Year award.

The 2004/05 season was not a successful one for Nicholas - a knee cartilage tear in July meant that he needed surgery prior to the start of the campaign, and though he returned to the side before the end of August, coming on as a substitute at Bristol City, the lack of a pre-season programme was evident - Nicholas looking rusty and unfit. A adverse reaction to the surgery in early September kept him out for another six weeks, and upon his return, he found himself mostly on the substitutes bench - the only highlight being his first goal for the club in a 2-1 LDV Vans Trophy win at Exeter in November.

After starting just one match in December, Nicholas rejected a loan move to League Two club Mansfield at the end of the month, before an ankle injury in January prevented him from even being selected on the bench. After a month of reserve team football, Nicholas agreed to a month's loan at Chester, close to his family in Liverpool, before returning to play a part in the Town's last three games of the season.

Early on, the following season looked to be another one of struggle for Nicholas - with Jack Smith brought into the squad, he sat out the opening game of the season, and a terrible performance in the next match against Oldham saw him substituted and out of the squad for six weeks. Having missed all of the Town's disastrous spell during this period, he returned to face Bradford at the end of September - where a 3-2 defeat sealed Andy King's fate. New manager Iffy Onuora at first seemed uncertain as to whether or not to pick Nicholas, but after an injury to Smith in a 0-0 draw at Brentford in October, Nicholas regained his place in the side - and he was almost ever-present until the end of the season, missing just four matches in a oft-changing side. Onuora offered him a new one-year extension to his contract during May - a deal that made Nicholas the club's longest serving player at the age of just 22.

After an injury to new club captain Ady Williams, new manager Dennis Wise started with Nicholas as a centre-back for the 2006/07 season, and when Williams returned to action in mid-August, Nicholas found himself on the sidelines. Though Wise admitted to preferring Nicholas in the centre of defence, an injury to another new player, Jamie Vincent, meant that Nicholas came back into the starting line-up in his usual left back role. Vincent's return to action in mid-September sparked a battle for the left back role - defeat at Peterborough saw Nicholas lose his place for the following game, and he didn't start a league match again until mid-October, when, after Wise's departure to Leeds, caretaker Ady Williams first picked Nicholas as a replacement for the suspended Jerel Ifil, and then in the next game, Williams dropped himself for Ifil's return.

Paul Sturrock's arrival as Town boss in November initially seemed to be a good thing for Nicholas, who reverted to his usual left back role at the expense of Vincent, as Williams took his place in the centre. In early December though, a terrible performance from Nicholas in a 2-0 defeat at Mansfield prompted Sturrock to drop him for the next match, and he didn't regain his place in the side until Vincent fractured his cheekbone in January.

After that though, Nicholas missed just one game before the end of the season - with Vincent slotting into a centre back role to cover for the injured Ady Williams, Nicholas was able to make the left-back slot his own, and he even got on the scoresheet twice, in home games against Darlington and Accrington. At the end of the season, despite rumours of talks with Stockport County, Nicholas returned after the summer break to sign a one-year extension to his contract.

The 2007/08 season was not a happy one for Nicholas, and it proved to be his last at Swindon. A stress fracture of the heel kept him out until the end of October, but it wasn't until December that Nicholas got an extended run in the side, when caretaker managers Dave Byrne and Ady Williams brought him into the starting eleven for almost the whole month, albeit in the middle of an injury crisis. The arrival of Maurice Malpas as boss coincided with returns for all of the regular back four, and Nicholas was to make just one more start for the Town, when he scored in a 2-2 draw at Walsall in January. The goal was not enough for him to keep his place, and Nicholas made just two more substitute appearances before Malpas released him at the end of the season.

PLAYING RECORD:

Season LEAGUE FA CUP LEAGUE CUP OTHER TOTAL
Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls
'07/'08 8 (+3) 1 - - - - - - 8 (+3) 1
'06/'07 30 (+5) 2 2 - 1 1 1 - 34 (+5) 3
'05/'06 31 (+2) - 2 - - - 2 - 35 (+2) -
'04/'05 8 (+8) - - - 1 - 2 1 11 (+8) 1
'03/'04 29 (+4) 1 1 - - - 1 - 31 (+4) 1
TOTAL 106 (+22) 4 5 - 2 1 6 1 119 (+22) 6


TRANSFER INFORMATION:

DATE IN/OUT TRANSFER DETAIL
1 JUL 2003 IN Liverpool
(unattached)
18 MAR 2005 OUT Chester City
(loan)
18 APR 2005 IN Chester City
(loan return)
30 JUN 2008 OUT (released)
Rotherham United


full name

Andrew Peter Nicholas


 ENGLAND

date of birth
10 October 1983


             
             
             
             
         
             

usual positions
left back

other positions
central defence

youth career
Liverpool

senior career
Liverpool
SWINDON TOWN
Chester City (loan)
Rotherham United
Mansfield Town (loan)
Barrow
Vauxhall Motors (loan)
Vauxhall Motors
Marine
Warrington Town
Marine