Getting to know. . . Adam King
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 midfielder Adam King, who discusses Swansea City Under-23s’ successful league and cup campaigns, signing a new deal and aiming to make his Premier League debut.
Looking down the list of players who have come through Swansea City’s academy system, you could easily forget Adam King spent his youth career with Scottish Premiership side Hearts.
Three years since he swapped Scotland for South Wales, the Edinburgh-born midfielder continues to impress with the development squad in SA1.
And King feels he has matured since joining the Swans.
“I have grown as a person and player from when I first moved here,” he says.
“At the time it was a big change in my life. At 18 I was standing on my own two feet away from my family for the first time and out of the comfort zone.
“But I knew I was coming here with the chance of getting first-team football with a Premier League club.
“The highlight of my career so far was making my debut against Tranmere in the 6-2 FA Cup win in January 2015.
“I remember I had been with the club almost exactly a year, so it was a great opportunity for me to come on and get first-team experience in a competitive game.”
Now 21, King has continued to work hard behind the scenes, but unfortunately he has not seen a chance come with the Swans first-team since that day on the Wirral.
Instead King helped the under-21s lift the Professional Development League 2 title in May 2015, before an impressive loan spell with League One side Crewe last season saw the Scot net five goals in 26 appearances.
King found himself back on the fringes of the first team under former boss Francesco Guidolin on his return to Swansea.
“I came back from Crewe in January with a new lease of life,” he says. “I had a good six-month loan spell with them, playing a series of first-team games.
“Now my aim was to push on and see if I could progress further with the Swans. After a few decent games with the under-21s last season, I found myself around the first-team set-up once again.
“It was an exciting opportunity for me. Players who had been playing regularly with the under-21s, like Stephen (Kingsley), were getting their Premier League chance so I knew anything was possible and if I got mine, I needed to take it.”
Despite being part of the matchday squad on a number of occasions, King was left frustrated in his search for another first-team chance at Swansea.
But he has not been put off in his quest to make the breakthrough in these parts.
“I was in the squad on four occasions which was an experience in itself,” he smiles.
“Patience has to be key for any player in football, because it does not happen for you overnight. But all of sudden things can change quickly, so I have to be ready if the chance comes.”
“Stephen, Jay (Fulton) and Oli (McBurnie) have all made their debuts with the first team which goes to show what you can achieve if you take your chance.”
As one of seven players who hail from north of the border now on the books at the Liberty, King believes the Swans’ young Scottish contingent are having an impact on and off the pitch.
“I have noticed Scottish interest and support in Swansea has grown over the past few seasons,” he says.
“There are some diehard supporters that always seem to show up for the pre-season games I was involved with. It was great to see people like that supporting us.
“Swansea is an inspiration for young people in Scotland, who think they could get the opportunity to play for a Premier League club and show what they can do, so it is no surprise to me that support has grown.”
Last July, King landed a contract extension which keeps him in these parts until July 2019.
Having made 11 appearances for Southend United during another loan spell earlier this season, he is back focusing on making progress with the Swans.
“I was delighted the club offered me another deal,” King says. “It was a huge achievement and it gave me more confidence to kick on and fulfill the ambition I have for myself to feature for the first team.
“If an opportunity comes I know I will be ready to take it.
“To win a development title and cup was fantastic. The league set-up this season was fantastic. We were playing more games in more competitions against bigger teams.
“We will be playing against some of the best young players at the best academies in the UK next season, so it is a huge motivation for us.”