'I get shivers every time'
Joe Rodon has revealed how he gets “the shivers” every time he steps on to the pitch wearing a Swansea City shirt.
The 20-year-old local lad is having the time of his life right now having burst on to the first-team scene this season.
Rodon, who could be on the verge of a first senior Wales cap having been summoned by Ryan Giggs, has received rave reviews for his performances at club level.
A product of the Swans’ academy, Rodon may have been expecting to go back to development football having returned from a loan spell at Cheltenham Town in the summer.
But having impressed Graham Potter in pre-season, Rodon was handed a first-team chance against Preston in August after the departures of Federico Fernandez and Jordi Amat opened up a vacancy at centre-back.
Rodon has been smiling ever since, having featured in all but one of the Swans’ league games – he was rested at Stoke last month – since helping his team to a clean sheet on debut.
And the Llangyfelach-product has spoken of the special feeling that comes whenever he walks out to play in front of the Jack Army.
“I have loved every minute of playing for Swansea City – it is a dream come true to be playing for the first team,” Rodon said.
“To start out with the under-9s and come all the way through to the first team of your home club is every boy’s dream.
“I have been here 12 or 13 years now and to come from supporting the team to walking out with them is special.
“Swansea is my home and I think it means that extra bit to a player if you are born locally.
“Every time I walk out on the pitch it gives me the shivers.
“Whenever I play I just want to pay back to the great support I have had over the years.”
Former under-23 skipper Rodon has long been tipped as a potential first-team player.
But his transition to the senior side has been remarkably smooth, hence the call-up for Wales’s games against Spain in Cardiff on Thursday and away to the Republic of Ireland next Monday.
Rodon is one a number of players who have thrived having been given a chance by Potter.
“Luckily for me I have been given an opportunity and so far it has gone okay,” he added.
“There will be bad times but it is important I learn from them when they come.
“Seeing the gaffer play young players gives us that extra confidence that he has belief in us and that he is not afraid to throw a youngster into the game.
“This is what we are training and working for and once you get those opportunities, you want to grab them with both hands.”