Ex-Swans midfielder Gareth Phillips returns to train club's next generation
27th August 2015
Former Swansea City midfielder Gareth Phillips is back where he first started his football career to help develop the next generation of young players.
Phillips, who was a member of the Swans' 1999-2000 Third Division championship-winning squad and a youth team trainee at the Vetch Field, is now coaching the club's under-12s side.
The former Welsh Under-21 international turned professional in July 1998, making his debut against Cambridge United in 1996, and went on to feature in 88 league appearances for the Swans before moving on to Newport and Port Talbot before ending his career as a player-coach with Afan Lido.
He returned to SA1 at the beginning of last season to join a team of staff coaching the youth development phase at the club's academy.
"I originally came in to coach the under-13s but this season I am helping train the under-12s," said Phillips.
"My football journey has come full circle in some ways. I started here as a trainee when I was 13 under Alan Curtis, who was then heading up the academy.
"Now I'm back helping develop young players who are about the same age as when I first started.
"Once I retired I knew I wanted to pass on the knowledge of what I had learned in the game to the next generation of players so coming back to Swansea made sense."
During his time at the Vetch, Phillips played alongside the likes of legendary keeper Rodger Freestone.
He helped the Swans win the West Wales Senior Cup in 2002, but making his debut ranks as his best memory.
"I was still an apprentice at the time," he continued. "Jan Molby was the manager and he gave me a chance against Cambridge and my career for the club started from there.
"It is great to be back at the club where I was a trainee. I always had good memories from here.
"There is no better feeling than being part of the club where you came through the ranks.
"But being an apprentice with the Swans today is totally different from when I was here - facilities and technology have changed so much.
"The new set-up and structure at Landore is great - our aim is to help produce and develop more players to progress to the first team."
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