SWINDON Town head coach Ben Garner has praised the impact of attacker Harry McKirdy on the club since his arrival, stating “he makes every day fun”.

The 24-year-old has enjoyed a strong early season, culminating in two key performances as Swindon beat Bristol Rovers and Forest Green Rovers away from home.

McKirdy arrived at Town in the summer on trial with the club at its most fragile – hours before Clem Morfuni took over the reigns and breathed life back into the County Ground – and has gone on to become a fans’ favourite due to his maverick style on and off the pitch.

The former Port Vale man is popular within the dressing room too, according to Garner, who said he loves having someone who is not afraid to be themselves around the group.

Asked why McKirdy has enjoyed such a promising start under his tenure, Garner said: “I don’t know what went on before with him.

“I think the biggest thing is that we’ve accepted him for who he is and we love him as a character.

“He’s a top player who buys in to what we’re trying to do. And I like different characters – I don’t want everyone to be the same – I want people coming in with different dress sense, a different sense of humour.

“He makes every day fun, and that’s what we want. I love him to bits as a player and as a character. He’s an extrovert. He puts a smile on people’s faces every day because he comes in with a bounce. He’s always talking, always cracking jokes and telling stories. That gives a nice energy around the group.”

In the red and white of Swindon, McKirdy has scored three goals and created another in his first eight games. Meanwhile, off the pitch, the London-born attacker has caught the eye of many a fan with his unique style.

Garner is proud of the way McKirdy feels he is able to be himself at Swindon and says the open-minded mentality of the club has gone a long way to developing such a strong bond between everyone.

He said: “I think, previously, it might have been a case of trying to constrict Harry a little bit, but we haven’t done that here. You dress how you want to dress, be how you want to be.

“It’s about being open-minded – whatever industry you’re in, you need to go in and be yourself and be comfortable being that way. It’s something we certainly want here, they have to buy into what we’re doing, but how they dress and what they do is completely down to them.”