Swans and Dragons: Shaun MacDonald

19th December 2017

In a regular website feature, we look back at former Swansea City players who have also turned out for Wales at full international level.

Just a few months after celebrating his 17th birthday, Shaun MacDonald made his first-team debut for boyhood club Swansea City.

The midfielder came on as a substitute for Owain Tudur Jones in extra time of the 3-1 defeat at Reading in the League Cup in August 2005, and made his league debut in a 5-2 victory over Walsall four days later.

Those were the first of 40 appearances MacDonald made for the Swans prior to joining Bournemouth in 2011.

His first start in South Wales came in a 3-1 win over Torquay United in the Football League Trophy in October.

MacDonald played four times in that season’s competition, including the first leg of the southern section final against Colchester United.

The Swans went on to lift the trophy at the Millennium Stadium thanks to a 2-1 victory over Carlisle United.

Between 2005 and 2006, MacDonald played in five matches for Wales’ under-19 side, scoring once, and made his under-21 debut in a 5-1 victory over Estonia at The Racecourse.

He went on to break former Swans striker James Thomas’ record of 21 caps at that level with 25 overall and scored two goals.

In October 2010, just over a month after MacDonald made his last appearance for the under-21s against Italy, he made his senior international debut as a late replacement for David Vaughan in Wales’ 4-1 defeat against Switzerland at St Jakob Park.

He had previously been an unused substitute for the Dragons on three occasions dating back to 2008.

At the time of his Wales debut, MacDonald was on loan at Yeovil Town – one of five temporary spells he had with the Glovers over three seasons – and had made the last of his appearances for the Swans in a goalless draw with Reading in August 2009.

Both of his goals in a white shirt came in a 2-0 victory over Brentford in the League Cup 12 months earlier.

MacDonald made a total of 64 appearances on loan at Yeovil, scoring nine times, before moving to Bournemouth in August 2011.

The Blaenymaes-product netted six times in 101 appearances for the Cherries through to the end of the 2015-16 season.

He was part of the Bournemouth team who were promoted from League One to the Championship in 2013, as well as reaching the Premier League two years later.

In March 2015, MacDonald received his first international call-up in almost five years for Wales’ crucial Euro 2016 qualifier away to Israel.

He came on as a substitute for Aaron Ramsey in a memorable 3-0 victory in Haifa and was also on the bench for the famous 1-0 win over Belgium.

He replaced Ramsey once again in Wales’ 1-0 triumph over Cyprus, while being an unused substitute in further matches against Israel, the Netherlands and Northern Ireland.

His most recent appearance for the national side came as a substitute for Jonny Williams in a friendly against Ukraine in March 2016, and he has been named in the squad for five matches since.

In October 2015, MacDonald made his Premier League debut as a second-half substitute in Bournemouth’s 5-1 defeat at Manchester City, while it was fitting that his second top-flight appearance came at the Liberty Stadium in a 2-2 draw with the Swans the following month.

His third, and most recent, Premier League outing came in the Cherries’ 2-1 victory at Aston Villa in April 2016.

MacDonald signed for current club Wigan Athletic in August 2016 and made 41 appearances for the Latics in his debut season. Yet in the penultimate match of the campaign, he sustained a broken leg in a 1-0 loss at Reading and, as his recovery continues, everyone at Swansea City wishes him well.