Price looking forward to Liberty date
18th August 2016
Jason Price returns to the club who started his long career in professional football when Swansea City take on Hull City this weekend.
Price is the guest speaker in the club's hospitality lounge at the Liberty as the Swans take on another of his former sides on Saturday.
Now 39, Price has the Swans to thank for giving him a chance in the game after Cardiff City had deemed him not good enough.
Having arrived at Vetch Field as a 17-year-old in 1995, the Aberdare-born star would clock up 177 appearances - and 20 goals - in six years at the club.
And the versatile Price, who went on to play for a host of Football League teams, recalls how life as a Swan taught him to be a professional footballer.
"For me, joining Swansea was like stepping into a different world," he says.
"At the time I was doing an engineering course at college in Aberdare.
"My life was walking to college every day, doing my college work, then walking home from college again.
"Then all of a sudden, out of the blue, I was a professional footballer."
Price had caught the eye when playing against the Swans for Aberaman in a MacWhirter Youth League game.
"Frank Burrows was the manager when I joined the club, but Jimmy Rimmer was in charge of the youth team and he was the one who got me the contract," he adds.
"At the beginning it was hard for me. Jimmy had signed me as a central midfielder because I had a good engine, but my touch wasn't the best.
"In the early days at Swansea, the lads would take the mick out of me in training because of my touch.
"When we played five-a-sides, I was always the last pick because we were playing on a compact pitch.
"It got to a point where I didn't want to go to training any more. I would drive out of Morfa, where we trained back then, and think to myself that I just wanted to go home.
"I wasn't strong enough mentally in those days. But then Steve Jones broke his leg and suddenly I was in the team. Luckily, I was able to push on after that."
As well as Burrows, Price played under Bobby Smith, Rimmer, Kevin Cullis, Jan Molby, Micky Adams, Alan Cork and John Hollins while at the Vetch.
Cullis's brief reign sticks in the memory for all the wrong reasons, while Price describes the 1999-2000 Third Division title-winning campaign under Hollins as his best year as a Swan.
"I was still learning what being a proper professional footballer was about when I was at Swansea," he says.
"But I am grateful to the club for giving me a chance in football. I think that for someone of my ability, I went on to have a good career.
"I played Championship football for two seasons and won three promotions to the Championship, as well the Third Division title when I was at Swansea.
"That title season is my best memory of my time at Swansea. I won the penalty on the final day at Rotherham and, even though the referee gave them one to even it up, we only needed the draw to win the league.
"I was a Cardiff fan when I was a kid - I followed the crowd - and then I was at Cardiff at the age of 13 or 14, but they told me I wasn't good enough.
"Swansea are very much my team in Wales now and I am delighted to see the club going so well in the Premier League."
These days, Price is a gas engineer who runs his own business in West Yorkshire.
This weekend's visit to the Liberty will be the first since he played in SA1 for Doncaster in a 3-1 Championship defeat in 2009.
Having left the Swans for Brentford in 2001, he had spells with the likes of Tranmere and Millwall as well as Hull, where he won two promotions between 2003 and 2006.
He is currently doing some coaching work in Doncaster's youth set-up, while nephew Liam Price, who is 15, may yet follow in his uncle's footsteps having spent some time training with the Swans Academy.
Swans Hospitality will be welcoming back former players throughout this season.
To book, or enquire about availability, please contact the dedicated hospitality team on 01792 616628.