Jazz pens new deal

28th March 2013

Young Wales international Jazz Richards has committed his future to Swansea City until the summer of 2016.

Richards, whose previous contract was due to expire this summer, today put pen to paper on a new deal which will see him spend the next three years at the Liberty Stadium.

And the local Brynmelyn product was delighted to tie down his future with his hometown club.

"I'm delighted to have signed a new contract at the club," said Richards, who is currently on loan at Championship side Crystal Palace.

"Being a Swansea boy, I see my career at the club and I was very keen to commit my future to the Swans.

"By offering me a three-year contract, the club made me feel they have a plan for me.

"There was interest from other clubs, but Swansea is where I want to be.

"Of course, it is very difficult to get into the team because of the quality of players we have, but I feel that I can return next season and push for my place in the manager's plans.

"I played eight games in the Premier League last season, and I think I got stronger and my confidence grew with each match, so I know I have something to offer the manager and team.

"My loan spell at Palace is also proving very beneficial and enjoyable. I'm getting games at a club which likes to play under Ian Holloway, and the team are doing very well in the league and pushing strongly for promotion.

"The plan is to finish the season strongly and try my best to get Palace into the Premier League, and then I'll return to Swansea and look to impress Michael Laudrup enough to be involved regularly in his first-team plans."

Richards made four appearances this season under Laudrup - all coming in cup competitions - before his loan move to Palace in January.

The 21-year-old has already featured eight times for the Eagles as they continue their chase for automatic promotion to the Premier League.

Richards signed his first pro deal with the Swans at the end of the 2008-09 campaign, and went on to make his debut as a substitute in a home defeat to Middlesbrough the following season.

Having impressed during the club's promotion campaign, in which he made six Championship appearances, he penned a new 18-month contract in October 2011.
Then, following an injury to Angel Rangel, Richards was given an opportunity to impress in the top flight, and he gave a glowing account of himself in his eight Premier League appearances.

International recognition followed, with Richards adding to his Under-17s, Under-19s and Under-21s caps by making his senior Wales debut against Mexico in New Jersey in May 2012.

He won his latest cap on Tuesday night when he came off the bench in Wales' 2-1 defeat to Croatia at the Liberty in a 2014 World Cup qualifier.