Richards: Teenagers will get chance to shine
Gary Richards has revealed that Swansea City's teenagers will be given the chance to shine once again as the under-23s face Everton in the Premier League Cup semi-final on Saturday.
The young Swans welcome the newly crowned Premier League 2 champions to the Liberty Stadium aiming to reach the final of the competition for a third consecutive year.
You can watch the action LIVE on swanseacity.com from 12pm.
Alternatively, tickets are still available for £1 and can be purchased HERE.
As in seasons gone by, Richards and Cameron Toshack have used this year’s tournament to introduce teenagers into the development side, including the likes of under-18s stars Mason Jones-Thomas, Tivonge Rushesha and Daniel Williams.
And the under-23s coach has urged his players to rise to the occasion again at the Liberty.
“In recent years, we have used the cup to introduce younger players and that will be the case again on Saturday,” he said.
“I think our consistency in this cup has been very impressive. Whoever has played in this competition has done us very proud.
“It’s always a special occasion when you play at the Liberty. Whenever we play at our home stadium, we all hope we can do ourselves justice. Over the period I’ve been here, we’ve done that.
“It’ll be a real tough game. Everton are a very good team and well-organised. We know we’re going to have to be at our best if we want a positive result.”
The cup run has provided a shining light during a difficult season for the under-23s, who were recently relegated from Premier League 2 Division One.
The development side have had to demonstrate various sides to their game throughout the run.
After beating Aston Villa 2-0 in the last 16 with a fine display of free-flowing attractive football, they showed pure grit and determination to see off Nottingham Forest on penalties in the quarter-finals.
And Richards insists those qualities will serve his players well in the future.
“These are traits that the players must have if they are going to go on and build careers,” he added.
“It’s great that they’ve shown they can compete against different styles.
“We’d be delighted to make it to another final. The league hasn’t gone the way we wanted, but if we can finish off the season with another cup final then I don’t think we’ll have done too badly.”