Tour talk: Jazz Richards
6th July 2013
Jazz Richards hopes to hit the ground running this season as he looks to feature in Michael Laudrup's plans for what could prove a demanding campaign for Swansea City.
With commitments in the Europa League, Barclays Premier League, FA Cup and defending their Capital One Cup crown, the Swans are busy preparing for the new campaign with a ten-day tour of Holland.
And after helping Crystal Palace reach the top-flight last season during a spell on loan at Selhurst Park, Richards hopes a successful pre-season will propel him into the Great Dane's plans.
"I went on loan to gain experience and get some game-time so you can return and push for a spot in the team," said the 22-year-old.
"Obviously Angel (Rangel) is going strong and doing very well, but I hope to be a part of things this season.
"I don't know if I will go out on loan again, but you never know what can happen during pre-season.
"Just look at Ben (Davies) - he was among the best players we had in pre-season last year, and he went on to have a great season. When Tayls got injured, Ben went straight in because he had a great pre-season and was fit, sharp and ready.
"That's what it is all about. You go into pre-season, get your fitness in and show the manager what you can do. Then it's up to the manager.
"So that's what I'm hoping to do."
Richards featured for the whole of the second half in the Swans' opening-tour win over amateur side FC Gravenzande on Saturday.
Goals in either half from Ki Sung-Yueng and Pablo Hernandez earned the Swans victory in a game played in very warm conditions.
And Richards felt there were plenty of positives to take as the Swans now look ahead to Sunday's friendly with Excelsior Maassluis.
"It's nice to start the tour with a win, but the most important thing was to get some minutes under our belts and come through without any injuries," added the Wales international.
"The new players settled in well and they looked comfortable on the pitch.
"It was a very warm game, so to play 45 minutes was difficult. But it's about building fitness now, and that's what we are working on.
"We're all looking forward to Sunday's game. The boys are a little achy after this game, but it's all part of the process in getting back to full fitness."