Potter hails James progress

29th March 2019
First team

Graham Potter has hailed the development of Daniel James after the Swansea City winger marked his competitive debut for Wales with his first international goal.

James has enjoyed a fine break-out campaign, turning in a number of thrilling displays for the Swans, including that memorable match-turning performance in the FA Cup victory over Brentford at the Liberty Stadium.

His form saw him win a first Wales cap against Albania in November, and he followed that up by scoring the winner as Ryan Giggs' side kicked off their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a 1-0 victory over Slovakia.

And Swans boss Potter feels his showing in Cardiff was another reminder of just how far he has come in a short space of time.

"Dan is making his mark every time he goes on the football field. It is good for him and it is good for us because it shows the work we have been doing," said Potter.

"He is in his first season, he has had a wonderful season to progress from nearly going out on loan at the start of the season after not playing on loan in League One last season, to international football and playing in the Championship means he has done really well.

"Our job is to make sure he has a career at the top of the game for as long as possible. I am enjoying his progress, he is enjoying his football which is great."

James was one of four players in the Wales starting line-up who had come through the ranks of the Swansea academy, along with Connor Roberts, Ben Davies and Joe Allen.

And Potter paid tribute to the work done by the staff who had helped develop those players, and many others, over the years.

"It should be a proud moment, to have four academy graduates in the starting XI for the national team just shows the work that has been done over the past number of years and how important it is," added Potter.

"So congratulations to everyone who works in the academy, because a lot of hard work has been done.

"I think there has been a glass ceiling for a couple of years, understandably because of the Premier League and the position the club has been in. 

"I think there is less of that now, and the sort of opportunity that can give an academy a bit of life and hopefully we can continue to develop more of those players."