Cullen targets first-team breakthrough after signing new deal
Liam Cullen has his sights set on a first-team breakthrough at Swansea City after signing a new contract extension with the club.
The young striker, who has been with the Swans since he was eight, has put pen to paper on fresh terms that will keep him in SA1 until the summer of 2022.
Cullen has enjoyed a hugely successful season so far with the under-23s; scoring 17 goals in 21 appearances across all competitions.
Ten of those have come during a red-hot January for the 20-year-old, including four in the Premier League International Cup victory at Everton earlier this week.
And he is delighted to extend his stay with his boyhood club.
“It’s a proud moment for me. I’m glad to finally get it done and I look forward to the next two-and-a-half years,” he said.
“That will take me to 15 years at the club. I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time here so far.
“Whenever I sign a contract, I always work hard towards earning the next one.
“It was in the back of my mind that my existing contract ran out in the summer and that I needed to work hard to warrant a new deal.
“I like to think I’ve done well this season and the club think that I have as well. It’s nice to know that the club have taken notice of my hard work and that they’ve been impressed.
“I need to kick on again now and keep improving myself.
“I’m hoping that the future’s a bright one for me. I’m going to work hard and do everything I can to make sure that it is.”
As well as his impressive exploits with the under-23s, which have drawn praise from head coach Steve Cooper, Cullen has also been involved with the first team on a couple of occasions.
The Wales Under-21 international, who made his senior debut against Crystal Palace in August 2018, was part of the matchday squad for the Swans’ opening two Carabao Cup fixtures this term, while he was also in the travelling party for the FA Cup tie against QPR.
His main focus is now on becoming a regular in the first-team set-up and following in the footsteps of a long list of academy graduates to make the step up.
“The main aim now is for me to push into men’s football and prove myself at that level,” he added.
“I played two games during pre-season and was on the bench for a couple of Carabao Cup games; I’ve also been in the stand for a couple.
“Being in that environment and seeing the support the players get from the fans makes me hungry to be a part of it.
“I’ve always wanted to be a player that has come through the academy set-up and made it into the first team.
“Players like Joe Rodon, Connor Roberts, Jordon Garrick and Ben Cabango have all made that journey. I look at them every day and take inspiration knowing I want to follow in their footsteps.
“I don’t expect to walk into any first team; I know I have to work as hard as I can to get there and prove I can excel.
“It’s down to me to do that. Hopefully, I can carry on doing what I am and that will be the case.”