Getting to know. . . Stephen Kingsley
25th February 2016
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-21s defender Stephen Kingsley, who talks aboutgrowing up at Falkirk, settling in Swansea and making his debut in the FA Cup.
Patience has been key for Stephen Kingsley, ever since the young defender made his move from Scottish Championship side Falkirk in June 2014.
The 21-year-old has been working hard behind the scenes since arriving in SA1 in an effort to earn his place in Swansea City's first-team.
Last year proved a big experience for the young left-back with loan spells at Football League sides Yeovil Town and Crewe Alexandra, a debut for Scotland Under-21s against Hungary in March and playing a part in helping Swansea City's Under-21s lift the Professional Development League title last season.
Fresh from his latest three-month loan move at League One side Crewe, where Kingsley made 12 appearances for the Railwaymen before Christmas, the young Scot made his first-team debut in an FA Cup fixture in January.
The left-back replaced Frank Tabanou during the third-round tie against Oxford United, and he admits the experience has left him wanting more.
"It was a dream to make my debut with a Premier League club," said Kingsley. "Despite the disappointing result, it was a brilliant experience.
"The FA Cup is a massive competition, known around the entire world, so to make my first appearance for Swansea in such a big competition is something I am extremely proud of.
"It gave me a taste of what it will be like to play regular first-team football, and it makes me want to push on to bigger and better things.
"I was on the bench against Crystal Palace at the end of last season and it really gives you that flavour of what being in the first-team is going to be like. Hopefully I can keep impressing in training and get my Premier League debut this season."
Despite still waiting for his chance in the Premier League, the young Scot is no stranger to top-flight football.
Kingsley grew up and progressed through the ranks at Falkirk's Academy, making his debut for the Scottish Championship side against Partick Thistle during the 2010-11 season - aged just 16.
However, the Scot admits his first professional game wasn't much of a debut to savour.
"I was on for the last six seconds of the game from what I remember," he laughs. "I didn't care how long it was though, I was just buzzing to get on the pitch and make my first-team debut when I was that young.
"It kick-started my career there because I went on to make more appearances, and two seasons later I was a first-team regular.
"Over the course of four years, I managed to clock up something like 110 appearances in all competitions.
"Still being a teenager and having that many appearances to my name was a brilliant feeling."
Kingsley admits the experience he gained whilst at the Falkirk Stadium helped him develop faster and made a move to the Premier League possible.
"The experience you get playing men's football is like no other," he added. "My game time whilst at Falkirk earned me the chance to play for Swansea.
"Signing for a Premier League club was something every young footballer dreams of. I was so proud and it only inspired me to push on to try and be the best I could be."
The young defender linked up with fellow Scot and former Falkirk team-mate Jay Fulton upon his arrival in Wales.
In the coming months the pair would soon become part of a growing Scottish contingent forming within the Swans development squad, with the arrival of three other players with links north of the border.
"It was a massive help to be at the club with Jay (Fulton)," admits Kingsley. "He signed around five months before me, so was able to help me settle in when I arrived in Wales.
"I also knew Adam King's brother Billy, due to my call-ups to the Scotland squad, so we became friends very quickly.
"Botti Biabi is adamant he is 100 per cent Scottish, even though he was born in England, and Leeds lad Oliver McBurnie is doing really well with the Scotland U21s set-up, so I think we are claiming him.
"I don't think there are many other Scottish people here in Swansea apart from us five lads. It is fair to say we make up a fair percentage of the Scottish population in the city.
"We always hang out together and have good banter between us, as well as share stories from back home."
Kingsley is now fully focused on helping Swans U21s enjoy a positive second half to their debut campaign in category one football.
"I feel like my game time in Scotland and League One this season has given me an advantage," added Kingsley.
"Football in category one this season has definitely been more of a challenge, as we come up against players with more first-team experience. These are the challenges we want.
"Our aim from here is to go on, have a good second half of the season and finish as high as we can in the table. From there, who knows, but I know I will be ready."