Matt Grimes named Swansea City captain
Matt Grimes says he is privileged and honoured to lead Swansea City after being chosen as club captain for the 2019-20 season.
The 24-year-old midfielder – named Swans’ Player of the Year last term – has been handed the armband by head coach Steve Cooper ahead of Saturday’s Championship opener against Hull at the Liberty.
Having enjoyed an outstanding season, making 50 appearances and scoring two goals, he has led the Swans in friendly wins over Exeter and Atalanta during pre-season.
But the former Exeter man was still surprised when Swans boss Cooper called him to formally offer him the captaincy.
“I am buzzing. It came as a bit of a surprise, to be honest, but I am more than happy to take on the responsibilities and be more of a leader on and off the pitch,” said Grimes.
“I am massively honoured. To be captain of any club is a big deal, but to be captain of a club like Swansea City really is a privilege and an honour.
“The gaffer had spoken to me over the course of pre-season saying he wanted me to be more of a leader this year but I never once thought he would make me captain.
“It was nice to be captain in the Exeter game and again against Atalanta, but it is one of those things you do not expect to happen until it finally does.”
Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer also wore the armband during pre-season, while Mike van der Hoorn skippered the Swans for the majority of last season as Leroy Fer struggled with injuries.
And Grimes revealed he has had nothing but support from his colleagues, and wants to tap into the knowledge and experience of the senior players in the dressing room.
“I have had great support. I think guys like Wayne, Nathan and Kyle are all captains in their own right with the amount of experience they have got,” he said.
“Of course, it is never just about one player wearing the armband. It takes a whole group and we have a lot of positive senior figures and players with a lot of experience.
“So hopefully that will make my job a bit easier. I will definitely be looking to tap into their knowledge.
"We also have Mike, who wore the armband for the majority of last season, so I am never going to walk around and say ‘I’m in charge’.
“I don’t think that is what I would do, or what anyone would expect of me.”
One things Grimes – who had previous captaincy experience with England Under-20s – does intend to do, however, is lead by example.
The midfield maestro will be looking to do his talking through his actions.
“I think with any younger players at the club, or in the academy, if you are captain of Swansea City you need to be able to show how you should be, how you should be living your life on and off the pitch,” he said.
“If I can create that kind of persona, which I hope I do already, and people look at me and think I lead by example then I am more than happy to do that and work on the talking as well.”