Ben Hamer | We know how much derby means to city
Ben Hamer is relishing the opportunity to be involved in his first south Wales derby in front of the Jack Army and has insisted that staying calm will be a key factor as Swansea City host Cardiff City tomorrow afternoon (12pm).
The experienced keeper was named as a substitute in last season’s home fixture against the Bluebirds, with the match being played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite never previously playing in the fixture, Hamer is well aware of the magnitude of the game and the importance it holds in south Wales.
“I’ve heard big things about it, we all know how much it means,” he said.
“The chef has had a countdown to the match in the training ground and we know how much it means for everyone in the club and the city.
“Doing the double is a big thing and we were close to becoming the first club to do the double last season but they beat us 1-0 on our own patch which was devastating for everyone.
“It's been quite a big build-up and we’ll be looking forward to a big atmosphere from both sets of fans.”
In a fixture renowned for its atmosphere, Hamer insists that remaining calm and focussing on the task in hand will be vital for himself and his Swansea team-mates.
“We just need to concentrate on doing our bit on the pitch and staying calm on that side of things,” he added.
“We’ll be looking to go out there and implementing the same style that we’ve implemented all season.
“We know Cardiff are a very physical side but we’ll be just be looking to do what we normally do.”
The 33-year-old is no stranger to derbies having played in a number throughout his career but there is one fierce rivalry that he is yet to experience in front of a crowd.
“I’ve played in a couple when I was at Charlton, against Crystal Palace and Millwall but they were a bit far away.
“There are loads of London derbies so you never really know which are the most intense because everyone seems quite split apart.
“I played in a couple of Yorkshire derbies at Huddersfield and against Nottingham Forest when I was at Derby but that was behind closed doors so I didn’t really get to experience it properly.
“I’m pretty sure I’ve watched most south Wales derbies in years gone by because they’re usually a Sunday kick-off when you’re chilling at home.
“From watching Swansea and Cardiff on TV over the years, the rivalry is very intense from what I could see looking in and the atmosphere always looked brilliant.
“It will be my first time experiencing the fixture with a crowd there and I’m really looking forward to it.”