Gary Richards eyes International Cup benefits
Swansea City Under-23s’ coach Gary Richards hopes his side reap the benefits of playing in the Premier League International Cup as they launch their campaign against PSV Eindhoven tonight (7pm).
You can watch tonight's game LIVE on swanseacity.com and the club’s official Facebook page from 7pm.
The young Swans welcome the Dutch giants to Landore for their opening match of Group D, in which they will also face former champions Porto and last season’s domestic double winners Everton.
The elite competition is one that has proved hugely beneficial for the Swans over the years, with future first-team players like George Byers, Joe Rodon and Connor Roberts all using it as a launchpad in their young careers after playing starring roles in the run to the 2016-17 semi-finals.
As they prepare for their fourth consecutive year in the tournament, Richards is hopeful it will have a similar impact on his current crop of players.
And heading into tonight's fixture with PSV, the under-23s’ coach has encouraged his side to gain as much from the experience as possible.
“Every year, we look forward to the International Cup,” he said.
“We’ve had some great nights in the competition and it’s one that we’re very glad to be a part of.
“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed the fixtures whenever they’ve come around. We’ve come up against some of the best teams in Europe with really good players.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to play in this competition for the past four years now and when you think of some of the players to have appeared in that tournament and are now in a first-team environment, it shows how beneficial it has been to us.
“Our main focus for tonight is on making sure we perform to the levels we know we’re capable of. We want to gain everything we can from the experience and do ourselves justice on the night.”