Alfie Mawson aims to seize Swansea City chance after joining from Barnsley
30th August 2016
Alfie Mawson has spelled out his desire to seize "a fantastic opportunity" after continuing his remarkable rise by joining Swansea City subject to international clearance.
Less than three years ago, Mawson was playing for Maidenhead United in the Conference South - the sixth level of English football.
Now the 22-year-old is relishing the chance to prove he is good enough for the Premier League.
Mawson has signed a four-year contract at the Liberty Stadium after the Swans agreed an undisclosed deal with Barnsley.
"The last couple of seasons have been mad for me but I have enjoyed it," Mawson said.
"I have had some ups and some downs, but ultimately it's led me to signing for Swansea so I am not complaining.
"Coming here is a fantastic opportunity for me. Two-and-a-half or three years ago I was playing in the Conference.
"It's a big leap, a big step up for me, even from the Championship, but it's an opportunity I am going to try to grab with both hands.
"I think having confidence is massive. I genuinely feel I can make the step up, although I know that only time will tell.
"I am sure I will learn things about myself and my game, but I am here to improve as a player and a person.
"I am really looking forward to the opportunity. It's great to have been purchased by such a big club and a club I feel is very suited to me. I am just looking forward to getting going now."
Mawson admits he has not had an easy summer amid continued speculation about where he might end up.
But having put pen to paper in SA1, the former Brentford youngster cannot wait for the chance to impress Francesco Guidolin.
Mawson's big break in the Football League came when he joined Wycombe Wanderers on loan from the Bees two years ago.
After shining at Adams Park, he signed for Barnsley last summer and helped the club win promotion from League One - and lift the Football League Trophy - in his one full season at Oakwell.
"I had a few loans in the Conference South and Conference Premier when I was 18 and 19, then I got chucked in at the deep end at Wycombe," Mawson added.
"(Wycombe manager) Gareth Ainsworth, a lovely man, called me on a Thursday and said 'Do you want to come on loan?' and I said yes straightaway.
"I played on the Saturday and I haven't looked back since. I owe him a lot. I spoke to him the other day and he was very happy for me.
"Wycombe was when my professional career really started, then I went to Barnsley and that was a brilliant move for me.
"I thought long and hard about it and it proved to be very positive for me on the field and as a person as well.
"I grew up a lot moving away from home. I really enjoyed my time there. Now it's brilliant to be at Swansea."
Mawson is a centre-back who will compete for game-time with Federico Fernandez, Jordi Amat and Mike van der Hoorn.
Though he is a defender, Mawson also has an eye for goal, having netted a total of 14 times in the last two seasons and twice in his four league games for Barnsley this term.
"I do like scoring. A few of the lads at Barnsley put it down to me having a big head and knowing what to do with it," Mawson said through a smile.
"There is not a much better feeling than scoring, apart from keeping a clean sheet. If I can chip with a few and then keep them out at the other end then I will be happy.
"I love the ball. You look at the clubs who have dominated around the world, such as Barcelona, and the reason they have done well is because they keep the ball.
"That was a big reason why I wanted to come here because I think the free-flowing, eye-catching football Swansea play will suit me.
"There are top players here and it's going to be hard I am sure, but I am raring to go."