Flynn Downes | I faced a Russell Martin side and knew I wanted to play for him

10th August 2021
First team
Flynn Downes

Flynn Downes has revealed how his experience of playing against a Russell Martin side played a big part in his decision to join the head coach at Swansea City.

The 22-year-old midfielder has joined the Swans from Ipswich Town for an undisclosed fee, subject to international clearance, signing a four-year contract at the Stadium.

The highly-rated industrious playmaker has been capped by England at age-grade level – playing alongside Joel Latibeaudiere – and has already racked up more than a century of appearances in the EFL, with nearly half of those coming in the Championship with the Tractor Boys.

The Swans have beaten off interest from a number of clubs for his services, and Downes was impressed by the vision set out for him by the new boss.

But it was also the memory of facing Martin’s MK Dons team in League One last season that came to the forefront of his mind when it came to making his choice.

“I am buzzing to be here,” he said.

“It has been a bit of a whirlwind, I got a phone call about a week ago and it has come together quickly.

Flynn Downes

“It’s a massive club and I cannot wait to get going.

“I spoke to the gaffer, and I just liked the way he came across, the players they have got and it all just added up for me.

“The style of play massively appeals to me, I played against the gaffer’s side with Ipswich last year and I think we only touched the ball about four times during the entire game.

“So, when this came up, and I knew he was going to be here it was a dream move.

“The way he wants to play football appeals to me massively.

“I also know Gilly (technical development coach) from my time at Ipswich, I loved working with him at Ipswich. He is a top man, and that was also a part of my decision because he is a familiar face, but it was also down to speaking to the gaffer.”

Downes will not be available for this evening’s Carabao Cup clash with Reading, but he will be in contention for Saturday’s home Championship meeting with Sheffield United.

He has previous experience of playing at the Stadium having been a late substitute in Ipswich’s 3-2 win over the Swans during the 2018-19 season.

Flynn Downes

Downes admits that afternoon stuck in his mind because of the atmosphere, and he cannot wait to sample it while wearing the famous white shirt.

“It left an impression on me, big time,” he said of his previous visit to SA1.

“It’s one of those stadiums where the fans are quite close to the pitch, it’s lovely.

“You can really hear the fans and I remember that clearly.

“I cannot wait to step out there with all the fans in, it will be a special day I am sure because fans haven’t really been able to attend and that’s been such a weird thing for players.

“It was weird for us at Ipswich, and I am really looking forward to getting out there with the Swansea fans cheering the team on.”