Chairman's column: QPR
Read Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins' programme notes for today's clash with Queens Park Rangers.
Welcome to the Liberty Stadium for this afternoon’s game against Queens Park Rangers, which is the first of another tough run of three games in a week.
We recently finished the same sequence of matches against Nottingham Forest, Stoke City and Middlesbrough, which really gives an indicator of the strength in this division.
They were games which tested our whole squad further as we faced some of the best teams the Championship has to offer this season.
Whilst we were unlucky not to pick up more points in those three games, we certainly competed well and many positives came from the performances of the team and individuals – many of whom have come through our under-23s squad.
Joe Rodon is developing quickly while George Byers has slotted seamlessly into our midfield. George is a very talented footballer but he also provided some added aggression and steel in our recent games at Stoke and Middlesbrough.
Daniel James and Yan Dhanda have been growing in confidence week by week and will provide more energy and options for Graham Potter as the season unfolds.
Matt Grimes has really taken his chance so far this season. He looks to be enjoying his football once more and starting to display the undoubted talent he has in abundance.
Whilst I have only mentioned a few of our young players who have become first-team squad members this season, I feel the whole football club has been given a big boost since the arrival of Graham this summer.
Graham and his staff have very quickly shown a lot of faith in our young academy players and that in turn has opened the door for every player coming through our academy system. It provides belief that if you are good enough, the opportunity to progress quickly to first-team football will be there for you at Swansea City.
We have worked very hard for a number of years to add top-class training facilities and bring category one status to our academy set-up at Swansea City while playing against the best young players this country has to offer.
Without a doubt, this in turn attracted a lot of the young players who are now starting to establish themselves within Graham’s Championship squad to join us in the first place.
At last we can all start to see the benefits of all the hard work put in by so many people to make our academy one of the best run academy set-ups in the country.
A warm welcome to all directors, staff, players and supporters who have travelled down the M4 to support Queens Park Rangers today.
Recent performances and results must have lifted everyone at QPR and today’s game will be another hard-fought competitive Championship contest.
We also welcome back to SA1 a great servant of the club today, although it will be strange for us all seeing him wearing a different badge.
Angel Rangel gave remarkable service to our club, playing for us for 11 years – winning two promotions, a League Cup and captaining the team in our memorable Europa League win at Valencia.
It’s great to see Angel continuing to play at the highest level available to him, and I’m sure the Jack Army will give him the ovation he deserves this afternoon.
Enjoy the game.