Swansea City's Olympians
Jamie Searle’s inclusion in New Zealand’s squad for the Summer Olympics caps off a whirlwind two-year period for the goalkeeper.
Searle hadn’t represented his country at any level prior to his call up this week, with the Swansea City youngster included in Danny Hay’s squad for the tournament in Tokyo, Japan.
The 20-year-old joined the Swans from Aston Villa last September, and is now set to become an Olympian as his nation takes on Korea Republic, Honduras and Romania.
Here, we look at other Swans who have appeared at the Olympics.
After helping the Swans to a successful first Premier League season, Sinclair capped off his own campaign by playing an instrumental role for Team GB under Stuart Pearce. After scoring eight goals in 38 Premier League appearances, he struck GB’s second goal in their 3-1 win over UAE, though their tournament would end in the quarter-final after a heart-breaking defeat to South Korea.
The Swans youth product was a key member of Team GB’s midfield, with Allen playing in all four matches at the tournament. Just six days after the quarter-final loss to South Korea, Allen reunited with Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool.
Just two years prior to London 2012, Taylor was plying his trade in non-league football with Wrexham. By the time the Olympics came around, he had already celebrated Premier League promotion with the Swans, and managed 36 appearances in their top-flight campaign. He crowned off a spectacular year by becoming an Olympian, and appearing in all of Team GB’s games.
Dai Greene captained Team GB at the 2012 Olympics, and the Llanelli hurdler actually had a Swans background. He was part of the club’s youth ranks, going on to score in a penalty shootout during a pre-season tournament against Real Madrid, before focusing his full attention on athletics. Greene just missed out on a medal at the Olympics, though, finishing fourth in the 400m hurdles.
Steven Caulker spent the 2011-12 on loan with the Swans prior to the Olympics in 2012, making 26 top-flight appearances during the club’s first Premier League season. He returned to parent club Tottenham Hotspur, and shortly after was part of Team GB’s plans. He proved a pivotal in the defence as he played in all four games under Pearce.
Ki Sung-Yueng broke GB’s hearts in the quarter-final when he scored the final spotkick in the penalty shootout to send South Korea into the last four. He captained South Korea to a bronze medal, meaning he would not have to serve the customary military service imposed by his country. A fortnight after that success, he became the Swans’ record signing when he joined from Celtic in August 2012.
Jack Cork didn’t become a Swans player until January 2014, but the then Saints midfielder mostly featured off the bench as a late substitute in GB’s games.
Mike Pinner is not a name that will stand out for many Swans fans, but the former goalkeeper did actually feature in two Olympics. Pinner only played one game for the Swans – on the final day against Liverpool in 1962 – after the club were given dispensation to play him following injuries to regular keeper Noel Dwyer and John King. Pinner represented the UK three times during appearances at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne and the 1960 tournament in Rome.