George Byers | My favourite game
We speak to a member of the Swansea City squad on a special game from their career, and what made it so notable.
Here, George Byers relives his first experience of playing in a derby.
Swansea City 1 Cardiff City 0
Championship: Liberty Stadium
Sunday, October 27, 2019
It’s 100 per cent this game for me. It was surreal – playing my first proper derby in football.
It was everything I expected it to be. The atmosphere was insane, the tempo of the game and mentally you had to be switched on for everything. What a day it was!
I wasn’t at the club the previous time the clubs had played each other. I knew the Swansea-Cardiff derby was big. I used to watch the games way before I came to Swansea.
It’s a proper derby with passionate fans. You feel that passion in the game.
But you have to try to be focused in the game and not let that affect you too much.
We felt how big the game was in the build up.
Even at the start of the season, our chef is a massive Swansea fan and he’d be saying 100 days until Cardiff, then count down each day. It showed us how important this game is.
When it comes to the game, you have to focus on the match. We knew what we had to do, and if we did what the gaffer had shown us then we were confident we would win the game.
I just had a feeling that week. In training everyone was on it, and I just knew that we would win because the preparation was right.
We watched a motivational video on the day of the game. It was about the club’s history, the fans and past successes. When we came out of that meeting we were so ready. I love videos like that – it gets me in the right frame of mind.
During the game I felt we had control. Apart from the unreal save Freddie made in the second half, I don’t recall him having much to do.
When you are playing you are like one of the Swansea fans. You want to do it for them.
We were really good – organised and got the numbers right in certain areas. We came out on top and that’s because we used our gameplan. That’s thanks to the gaffer and the coaching staff.
When we scored it was euphoria. I remember when Ben scored I went to run to the East Stand, but he ran to the north west corner so I had to cut back and chase him down.
I didn’t score, but I felt I did because of the feeling.
It helped having Nath and Wayne involved. They had both scored in the derby, and they talked a lot to us in the week building up to the game.
They were incredible that day. They were a massive help. Two legends playing their part.
The whole game was so emotional. It was draining.
When the final whistle went it was a massive relief.
In the circle at the end we all came together and were so happy. We had done it.