Getting to know. . . Aaron Lewis

18th February
Under-23s

As part of our Swans Academy content, we speak to an upcoming talent within the youth ranks at the club. Next in our in-depth interview is under-23s defender Aaron Lewis, who talks about his first year as a senior professional, growing up with the Swans Academy and his family ties to the Busby Babes.

Eight months on from signing his first professional deal, homegrown talent Aaron Lewis still has to pinch himself when he considers the journey he is on at Swansea City.

The 19-year-old put pen to paper on a one-year deal in June, and the defender continues to make the most of his chances for the Swans' under-23s side in their outstanding campaign this season.

"It has been great to take the step up to be a first-year professional - we have played some great sides in both league and cup competitions," the Wales Under-19 international says.

"The transition was made easier because of the game-time I got with the team at the end of last season.
"I learned a lot from those seven games. It gave me a real taste of the level I would need to be at in this campaign and it has definitely helped me this season."

Lewis is one of seven players in the U23 group who have risen through the academy ranks with the club having arrived as nine-year-olds.

The young full-back says his target - and that of each of his team-mates - is to follow in the footsteps of Joe Allen and Ben Davies, who progressed from the academy into the Swans first team.

"I was buzzing to get my first professional deal with the club," he says.

"It is something I have been working towards for years. Being from the local area, it would mean the world to take that next step.

"Looking at what Ben Davies and Joe Allen achieved after coming through the academy shows the opportunity is there. We just have to take our chances when we get them."

Family ties link Lewis to one of the most famous football dynasties in the world - the Busby Babes and Manchester United.

"My uncle Kenny (Morgans) was a Swan as well, but he is more famously known for playing for Manchester United," Lewis says.

Born in Swansea, Morgans joined the Red Devils' youth team when he left school at the age of 16, playing under United's legendary manager, Sir Matt Busby.

The Welshman went on to play alongside some of the best young footballers in the UK, including Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton.

The Munich Air Crash in 1958 robbed the footballing world of eight of the Busby Babes, but Morgans, one of the last to be pulled from the wreckage, was one of the lucky few to survive the crash.

"He always told me stories of the Busby Babes and playing for Manchester United, but after that he came back to play for his local side Swansea," Lewis adds.

"He was - and still is - a big influence on my career. He would always talk to me about what was happening with my football and give me good advice."

Sadly, Lewis's Uncle Kenny passed away in 2012, but his link to Swansea City lives on through his nephew.

"It was nice to have someone in my family that I could look up to and follow in the footsteps of," he continues.

"I am proud of what he achieved in his career. He is someone I can look to follow and is proof of what can be achieved with hard work.

"I think he enjoyed watching me play knowing that I was part of Swansea City's academy."

With the U23s top of Premier League 2 (Division 2), Lewis knows an important few months lie ahead with plenty to play for.

"Getting that one-year deal last summer was great, but I know I still have a lot of work to do to earn a new deal," he says.

"We made a push for promotion at the end of last season, so we know we have the quality in this team to go one better this year.

"As a team we have targets. It is very simple, we just have to keep working hard to ensure we deliver on them.

"Being top of the league is great, but we haven't achieved anything yet. We can't take any games lightly come the new year."