Duffy relishing Swans reunion
Sixteen years after making his Swansea City debut in the FA Cup, Richard Duffy hopes to dump his hometown team out of the competition this weekend.
Duffy, who hails from the Brynhyfryd area of Swansea, will face the club who gave him his big break for the first time in his career when Notts County welcome Carlos Carvalhal’s side to Meadow Lane.
The defender was just 16 when he was handed his debut by Colin Addison, with Duffy introduced as a second-half substitute in the defeat at Macclesfield.
Fast forward the clock 16 years, and the former Wales international is preparing to line up against the team he grew up supporting.
“It was a strange feeling when I found out that we could face Swansea in the fourth round,” said Duffy.
“I first signed for the YTS scheme at the Swans when I was 15 or 16, it was very exciting to sign for my local team and it was something that every kid in Swansea dreamed of.
“It was a dream come true to make my senior debut at such a young age.
“Brian Flynn then handed me my league debut away to Scunthorpe on my 18th birthday. He had a great influence on me and other players playing for the Swans at the time.”
“There was a bit of a wait to see if the Swans beat Wolves in the replay, but I think a lot of the lads were hoping Swansea would win so we could face a Premier League team.”
Duffy’s taste of the Premier League didn’t go as planned, with just one appearance to his name in Pompey’s colours.
Loan spells at Burnley and Coventry followed before an emotional return home, where he made 11 league appearances for the Swans as they fell just short of the League One play-offs under Kenny Jackett.
“Moving to Portsmouth was a big time in my career even though I was young. The opportunity to move to a Premier League team doesn’t come around that often so I had to take it. It didn’t quite work out for me there but that’s the way football works out sometimes.
“It was good for me to go back to the Swans - they had moved to the Liberty Stadium from the Vetch since I last played there so it was an honour to play in the new stadium.
“It was nice to come home and great to have the chance to play in both stadiums.”
Despite it being over a decade since Duffy last played in a Swans shirt, Duffy still keeps a keen eye on his boyhood club’s fortunes.
“I watched the Swans against Liverpool on Monday and it was a great result for them,” he added. “I still always look out for their scores every week and I like to see them doing well.”
Following spells at Millwall, Exeter City, Port Vale and Eastleigh, Duffy signed for League Two outfit Notts County in May 2016.
“We had a difficult first half to last season - we lost ten consecutive games and were in the bottom two of the table, but when Kevin Nolan came in he gave the place a boost and turned things around,” said Duffy.
“After he came in we picked up dramatically and started picking up points pretty quickly.”