Kyle Naughton's journey to 250
Kyle Naughton joined a number of illustrious names when he brought up his 250th Swansea City appearance against Birmingham on Saturday afternoon.
Garry Monk, Mel Charles, Dai Gwyther, Roy Evans, Michael Howard, Brian Hughes and Reg Weston are among those to have gone through the 250 barrier, with all those players ending up with a final appearance tally between 250 and 300 in Swansea colours.
Naughton’s current tally has seen him overtake the likes of Keith Todd, Vic Gomersall, Andy Robinson and Tommy Hutchison along the way.
He is in rare company, he now ranks among the top 45 players in the Swans 110-year history when it comes to overall outings in the club colours.
By any measure, the defender has provided the club with outstanding service, and he remains an integral figure, as shown by his superb performances this term.
A product of the Sheffield United academy, Naughton signed for Swansea City from Tottenham Hotspur in January 2015, and he went on to help the club to a best Premier League finish and points total.
The former England Under-21 international had spells with the Blades, Gretna, Middlesbrough, Leicester and Norwich before making his switch to Spurs.
He spent five-and-a-half years at White Hart Lane with he and Kyle Walker identified as exciting emerging talents at full-back.
His professionalism and application have been praised by a succession of Swansea bosses, including head coach Russell Martin, and has captained the side during his time in SA1.
Here, to mark the landmark, we look back at some of the notable moments of Kyle’s time with the Swans.
Southampton 0 Swansea City 1
February 1, 2015
Naughton enjoyed a winning bow for his new club as Jonjo Shelvey stole the headlines at St Mary’s.
Kyle, Jay Fulton and Matt Grimes are the only members of the matchday squad from this game who are still in Swansea colours.
Captain Williams twice cleared off the line from Sadio Mane before Shelvey picked up a ball 30 yards out and unleashed an unstoppable drive beyond Fraser Forster.
Saints would have Ryan Bertrand sent off late on as the visitors took all three points to the delight of their new signing.
Halfway to 100
Everton 1 Swansea City 1
November 16, 2016
Naughton made his 50th appearance for the Swans but it would prove a heartbreaker for the visitors as they were denied all three points at the death at Goodison Park.
The Swans had endured a difficult start to the season, but they looked set to record a vital win thanks to Gylfi Sigurdsson’s penalty against the Toffees.
But fortune did not favour the Welsh club as Seamus Coleman’s looping header found the net with a minute to go.
Sunderland 0 Swansea City 2
May 13, 2017
Naughton had waited nearly two-and-a-half years to open his Swansea City account, and he could barely have chosen a better moment to do so as he helped Paul Clement’s side secure Premier League survival at Sunderland.
Fernando Llorente headed in a free-kick early on to put the visitors in control, and Naughton then showed good composure to fire home with his right foot after good build-up.
The win, allied to Hull’s defeat at Crystal Palace the following day, ensured the Swans retained top-flight status.
Five further goals have followed, including excellent strikes against Birmingham and Hull last season.
Hitting triple figures
Sheffield Wednesday 0 Swansea City 0
February 17, 2018
Naughton made it 100 not out in Swansea colours, achieving the feat in his home city as they played out a goalless draw at Sheffield Wednesday.
The fifth-round tie came amidst a good unbeaten run under Carlos Carvalhal and, while neither side could find a breakthrough during a frenetic conclusion, it was Swansea who would reach the quarter-finals courtesy of a victory in the replay.
“I came to play as many games as I could, hopefully I can be here for many more years,” Naughton said after the game, and he’s certainly got his wish.
Appearance number 150
Swansea City 3 Northampton Town 1
August 13, 2019
Naughton marked his 150th appearance by wearing the captain’s armband as the Swans advanced to the second round of the Carabao Cup.
An upset had looked on the cards when Matt Warburton put the League Two Cobblers ahead.
But Steve Cooper’s side responded with three goals in seven minutes courtesy of an Andre Ayew brace and a George Byers’ strike.
Bringing up the 200
Swansea City 2 Norwich City 0
February 5, 2021
Naughton’s red card against Brentford ensured he had to wait an additional game to bring up number 200 for the Swans, and he turned in a typically astute display as another clean sheet was secured in an important win over Championship leaders Norwich.
At the end of an even first-half Andre Ayew netted his ninth goal of the season as he turned and coolly finished from close range after Norwich had failed to deal with a set-piece.
Conor Hourihane then scored for the third game in a row with a superb strike early in the second half, with Naughton part of a resolute defensive display which saw the Swans collect a 15th clean sheet of the Championship season.
250 not out
Swansea City 0 Birmingham City 0
March 19, 2022
Swansea City racked up a 15th clean sheet of the season as they played out a goalless draw against Birmingham City at the Swansea.com Stadium.
The hosts were unable to find a breakthrough and mark Kyle Naughton’s 250th appearance for the club with a win, as top scorer Joel Piroe went closest with a clever backheel, while Hannes Wolf spurned a great early opening by opting to pass when clean through on goal.
The visitors, meanwhile, wasted three gilt-edged chances as Juninho Bacuna, Tahith Chong and Maxime Colin all contrived to miss the target from close range.
It ensured a first goalless draw in SA1 since the draw with Millwall all the way back in September.
Naughton has made 103 appearances in the Premier League and 125 appearances in the Championship for the Swans, with the remainder of his performances coming in cup competition. He has made nine FA Cup appearances, nine in the League Cup and appeared in four play-off fixtures.
He has played in a number of positions for the club, featuring at right-back, right wing-back, centre-back and in central midfield.
Of his 250 appearances, Naughton has been on the winning side on 93 occasions, with 63 draws and 93 defeats.
He has scored six goals, he has received just 27 yellow cards and been sent off just three times, a testament to his ability to read the game and time his challenges.
It’s 250 up, and he’s not done yet.