Leon Britton signs new Swans contract
22nd August 2016
Leon Britton is eyeing another Swansea City landmark after signing a one-year contract extension which ties him to the Liberty until the summer of 2018.
Britton, who first joined the Swans on a one-month loan from West Ham back in 2002, reached 500 games for the club midway through last season.
As he approaches his 34th birthday, the midfield maestro acknowledges that he is unlikely to play as often as he did in his younger days.
But Britton insists he still feels capable of performing at Premier League level - and is keen to rack up as many appearances as he can before the time comes to hang up his boots.
"Signing the extension was a very easy decision, like most of my contracts at Swansea have been," Britton said.
"I spoke to the chairman and said if you are happy to have me, let's just keep the same terms. I think it's one of the easiest contracts the club have ever drawn up.
"If you include the loan deals when I first came, I have now signed 13 contracts at Swansea.
"You never know, there might be a 14th - it's down to me to try to prove I can still do a job.
"Getting up to 600 appearances for the club might be a big ask, but you have always got to have targets.
"Getting to 500 was a big thing for me. Now I would say I want to reach 550 and then I will go from there.
"If I can reach 600 that would be great, but I don't think there are too many players who have got to 550, so that would be great achievement."
Britton played for the 514th time in Swans colours when he led Francesco Guidolin's team out at Burnley on the opening day of the season.
He did not feature in the weekend defeat to Hull City after a bout of illness, and accepts that he will not always feature these days.
"Looking forward, I know my role will change a little bit in terms of not playing as regularly as I have done over the years," he added.
"I have spoken to the manager about that and I understand it. I have said to him that I am ready to start, to come on or just to be involved in the squad and trying to help the other players.
"I will just train well, keep fit and be ready for the manager however he wants to use me.
"At my age, maybe that sharpness you have when you are 24 or 25 is not there. You have to adjust your game a bit. You try to read the game better and use your experience.
"But I still feel fresh, I still train well and I still feel I can get around the pitch, so I think there is life in me yet."
Britton's new deal means his stint as a Swan will stretch to 16 seasons.
He is proud to have represented the club for almost all of his senior career - and of the progress the Swans have made during that period.
And Britton is confident the change of ownership in SA1 this summer will see the Swans to continue to thrive.
"The new owners have come in and I am sure they have got their own ideas to try to push us forward," he added.
"In the Premier League you can't stand still. If you think you have made it and you relax, you get found out because there are teams spending a lot of money.
"But I think we can keep progressing and hopefully the new owners will give us some fresh impetus.
"I am sure they will invest in the playing side of things as well as the stadium. Hopefully that will make the club grow more and more over the next few years."