Jack the Lad: Feeling proud

5th September 2018

Loyal fan and website columnist Jack the Lad explains that just like Graham Potter, Swansea City's supporters are feeling proud right now.

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. That certainly seems to be the case for Graham Potter and his staff.

The Swans currently find themselves in a position where they have to cut their cloth carefully when it comes to tailoring a team to challenge in the Championship.

This has meant the manager giving first-team opportunities to players who may not have been given such chances had the club remained in the Premier League.

And some of the new introductions to the first team have resulted in the formation of a squad which has genuinely got me excited for the long-term future of the club.

Yes, I know it's early days, it's a young, relatively small group with a long hard season ahead, and some of the performances have been inconsistent.

But any team that can go to Millwall, get reduced to 10 men in the first five minutes, lose their captain in the first half and win, has got something going for it.

In addition to this group of players’ undoubted footballing talent, they are displaying a spirit and determination which is generating a genuine bond between them and the fans.

I don’t think it is any coincidence that there are a number of players who have come through the academy, whether as local lads or development signings, who have built a real affinity for the club.

And with international week upon us, it seems fitting to focus on some of the Welsh players who are helping the Swans to defy the prophets of doom like Millwall’s Shaun Williams, who predicted our young squad would be in for an “eye-opener” at The Den last Saturday.

Perhaps he was the one in need of an eye-opener as he appeared to completely miss Kyle Naughton's eye-catching goal!

Possibly the player who has caught the eye more than any for the Swans so far this season is our young, homegrown centre-half, Joe Rodon.

The 20-year-old has been outstanding so far this season which is fantastic news for both club and country.

The Llangyfelach product was included in the Wales Under-21 squad for this international break, although he has since withdrawn because of injury. Many felt he could easily have been included in Ryan Giggs’ senior set-up.

And he isn't the only one of ‘Potter's Pups’ to have been included in the national set-up.

Also selected for the under-21s' matches against Liechtenstein and Portugal are Cian Harries, Aaron Lewis, Liam Cullen and Daniel James.

Comparative veteran Connor Roberts made his name in the Swans side last season and has continued his development during the opening weeks of this campaign, which has seen him retain his place in the senior squad for the matches against Ireland and Denmark.

Roberts, from Crynant, is joined in the senior squad by Declan John, who may not have come through the Swans Academy, but is now a fully paid up Jack after making his debut against Crystal Palace.

With so many young, Welsh Swans in the picture – like Brandon Cooper, who took part in that Carabao Cup match and has shone in the club's age-grade sides – these are indeed exciting times.

Potter said after the Millwall game he was proud to be manager of this club.

Well we're proud to be supporters of the players he is bringing into his first-team squad, especially those of us who also follow the fortunes of the Welsh team.

C'mon you Swans!