Dutchman de Boer has cup in his sights
Swans Under-23s aim to take a big step towards a third consecutive Premier League Cup final appearance when they visit Nottingham Forest on Friday (3pm).
The young Swans head to Alfreton Town’s Impact Arena hoping to advance to the semi-final of the competition.
Despite experiencing a tricky campaign in Premier League 2, the Swans have enjoyed better fortune in the cup.
They have fond memories of the competition, having won it in 2017 before losing on penalties in last season’s final.
This year they have advanced from a group containing Wolves, Hull City and Oxford United, while Cameron Toshack and Gary Richards guided their side to victory over defending champions Aston Villa in the previous round.
And midfielder Kees de Boer believes his team-mates go into the game buoyed by their performance during the win over Villa.
“We played very well,” said de Boer. “I hope we can build further on this game and keep playing the way we played.
“If we play like we did against Aston Villa we know we can win every game, so we just have to trust each other, keep working hard and we know we can win it.
“We’ve been in the final twice in the last two years - we won once but lost last season so we know we can get to the final and win it.”
After breaking through into the under-23 squad after his move from Ajax in 2017, the Dutchman spent his time in the Netherlands learning from legends Dennis Bergkamp and Ronald de Boer.
“I was a bit too young I think so I didn’t see them play in real life, but they were great players,” he said.
“I’ve seen clips and they even showed class in training whenever they joined us.
“When I was young, I looked up to Xavi and Sergio Busquets, even Wesley Sneijder, so I would watch clips all the time of them.
“I learnt loads from them. I try to be myself on the pitch but if I see something they’re good at, I try to do it the same way.
“The way they scan the pitch, checking shoulders, seeing where everyone is, the way they played one or two touch in tight areas, that’s something I learnt from them. I try to be as good as they were.”
Whilst the 18-year-old continues to work hard in the academy set-up, de Boer has much bigger hopes for the future as he looks to break into the first team.
He has credited the work of Toshack and Richards for his growth as a footballer, and how they have helped him to become a better player.
“Every day in training they try to help you,” added de Boer.
“If you do something wrong, they tell you what to do or where you can do better next time, so you learn a lot from the coaches.
“If you see the players that are playing in the first team now, you want to play there as well.
“We played with George (Byers) at the start of the season, he’s starting every game now in the first team, so it gives you the feeling that you’re close to it, and if you keep working hard, you’re going to get that chance.”
Swans fans can watch the Premier League Cup tie against Nottingham Forest live on our website and via the new live tab on the official Swans App, or the club's official Facebook page.
Please make sure your app is updated to the latest version on the App Store.