It's friends reunited for Owain Tudur Jones
6th November 2015
Owain Tudur Jones makes his return to Carrow Road on Saturday as he casts his expert eye over two of his former clubs.
The ex-Swansea City and Norwich City midfielder will be in the press box running the rule over his former employers in his new role as co-commentator with Radio Cymru.
Jones, a former Wales international, got his first taste of professional football with the Swans, spending four years at the Liberty in which he won promotion to the Championship along with lifting the Football League Trophy.
He experienced promotion, too, with Norwich as they went from League One to Premier League in a two-year spell at Carrow Road.
He would later join Scottish sides Inverness, Hibernian and then Falkirk before persistent knee injuries cut short his career.
Now he has embarked on a career in the media, and Jones is relishing the opportunity of giving his take on Saturday's encounter.
"It's the first time I will have been back to Carrow Road since I left Norwich," said Jones. "It will be great to see a few familiar faces from the club, and I've still got a few friends that are still in the first team.
"It will be strange being at Carrow Road and watching two of my former clubs going up against each other, but my allegiances remain with Swansea. They are the club that gave me a chance in the professional game, while I'm also a proud Welshman.
"I always keep an eye out for Norwich's results and I'll always be appreciative to them for bringing me to the club - it's a great club."
The Canaries are without a win in six games, having lost the last four matches while the Swans sit four points above Alex Neil's side in the Barclays Premier League table.
And Jones is tipping the visitors to return home with three points.
"Norwich usually have a good home record, and that tends to be the reason behind their success. But this season they have struggled at Carrow Road," he said.
"Swansea have been up and down, but they have the quality players to get themselves out of a blip and turn performances into points.
"I've been really impressed by Andre Ayew and Jefferson Montero.
"Ayew has all the right qualities and - he looked a top player in his first game for Swansea while Montero is electric and he's terrorised a few full-backs already this season. If he could add a few more goals then he would have the full package.
"(Gylfi) Sigurdsson, too, is a player I really enjoy watching. He has got back to form in a position I think is potentially the hardest on the field as he has to find the space to damage teams and use the ball very wisely.
"(Jonjo) Shelvey is a player I watch closely and he has reached a new level this season. His influence in games is growing.
"They are big players for Swansea, and I'm hoping to see them come away with three points."
Along with the on-field success, much has changed at the Swans since Jones left South Wales in 2009.
The 31-year-old. who now lives just outside Bangor, was part of the squad sharing facilities with supporters at the club's former base in Llandarcy.
Now, with two state-of-the-art training facilities in Landore and Fairwood, along with a growing academy, Jones feels the club has caught up with its success on the pitch.
"Swansea's success on the pitch probably came too quickly for the club," Jones added. "When I left six years ago we were renting two pitches in Llandarcy. Now there are the training complexes and the whole structure has come along leaps and bounds.
"The training pitch is such an important place for a footballer. It's where you work every day and put everything into making sure you get three points from the next game.
"If the training ground isn't right, then that can hamper your preparation.
"But Swansea have got the right things in place now, and they have built a legacy."
Having hung up his boots due to injury, Jones' career on the pitch is now helping his new adventure in the media.
He added: "I'm really enjoying my new role. Obviously I thoroughly enjoyed playing, and I'm asked if I miss it a lot - the truth is I don't dwell on it.
"My new career is in media and I'm fortunate to be covering a lot of the Swansea games with Radio Cymru and BBC Radio Wales.
"It may help that I've played the game before, but I've learned a lot from the people I work with already while I did my coaching badges in the summer so that has definitely helped me.
"I'm quite a laid-back character so I don't jump out of my seat if Swansea score. But I try to bring my own bit of knowledge and humour, and hopefully people enjoy that."