Meet the opposition | Millwall

13th March
First team
Zian Flemming

As Swansea City prepare to take on Millwall, we take a closer look at the Lions.


What’s their story?

Initially formed as Millwall Rovers in 1885, the Lions played in the Millwall area of the Isle of Dogs until 1910, at which point they stopped roving and made a permanent home at The Den in New Cross. In 1993, they moved to The New Den.

Since joining the Football League in 1920, the club have spent the vast majority of their time moving between the second and third tiers.

The Lions only foray into the top-flight came between 1988 and 1990. In the 1988-89 season, they achieved their highest league finish of 10th in the top tier.

They have reached the FA Cup final once (2004) and were Football League Trophy finalists in 1999. Their FA Cup final runners-up place earned them a place in the Uefa Cup as winners Manchester United had already secured a place in Europe with their league position.


How’s their form?

Jake Cooper

Good. The Lions have been among the play-off hopefuls for a number of months, and now find themselves just outside the top six with less than a quarter of the campaign remaining.

They have one of the better home records in the division, losing just three games at The Den so far this term.

The Lions have underlined their status as play-off contenders with a win over Sheffield United, and draws against Burnley and Luton Town.


Who’s the gaffer?

Gary Rowett

Ex-Birmingham City, Derby County and Everton defender Gary Rowett has been at the helm as head coach at Millwall since October 2019, where he replaced Neil Harris. 

As a player Rowett was a reliable performer in all the teams he played for, amassing 381 league appearances and scoring 21 goals over a 16-year career. 

Rowett moved into management with his final club Burton Albion in 2012. After initially assisting Paul Peschisolido in 2009, he took over the reins and led the club to fourth place in League Two and a place in the play-offs, backing it up the following season with another top six-finish.

Moves to the Championship to manage former clubs Birmingham and Derby County followed, with his fine work at St Andrew’s going unrewarded by the club hierarchy.

He endured a difficult spell at Stoke City, before taking up the reins and doing a fine job at The Den. 


Who's the captain? 

Shaun Hutchinson

Shaun Hutchinson is Millwall’s club captain.

Born in Newcastle and – along with Michael Carrick – an alumni of Wallsend Boys Club, Hutchinson started his senior career with Scottish club Motherwell.

He made over 140 appearances for them, and was part of the Well squad that reached the Scottish Cup final in 2011, before moving to Fulham on a free transfer.

A two-year stint at Craven Cottage ended with a free transfer to Millwall in 2016 and he has been with the Lions ever since.

Hutchinson was part of the side that secured promotion to the Championship via the play-offs in 2017, and has made over 230 appearances in total.

The defender hasn't started a match since January 21 where he sustained an injury which kept him side-lined for a month. Since returning he has made three appearances off the bench with Jake Cooper lining up with the armband. 


Who are the key men?

Tom Bradshaw

Promising Dutch creative midfielder Zian Flemming arrived at the Den last summer after a couple of stellar seasons in the Dutch Eredivisie with Fortuna Sittard, where he amassed 29 goals in 58 games over his two years at the club.

Those exploits helped earn him a place in the league's team of the 2022-23 season, and the ex-Ajax youth prospect has really hit his stride after finding his feet in the Championship.

He has 13 goals to his name, including three in his last four games.

Wales international Tom Bradshaw has also been among the goals.

He also has 13 to his name this term, including an excellent hat-trick in a thrilling 3-2 win over Sheffield United at The Den.

The Shrewsbury-born forward has been with the Lions since 2019, having previously had spells with Aberystwyth Town, Shrewsbury, Walsall and Barnsley.

He has won three Wales caps since making his debut against Ukraine in 2016.

Towering Bracknell-born centre-half Jake Cooper is an important figure in defence for Millwall, and has skippered the side on a number of occasions in Shaun Hutchinson's absence.

Cooper has over 250 appearances to his name since joining from Reading and is an effective presence in both boxes.

His consistency and durability were underlined by a run of playing every minute of 136 consecutive league games between August 2018 and December 2020.