From The Vault: Swans v Southampton
27th April 2014
As part of our weekly 'From the vault' feature, we take a look back through the archives from past matchday programmes.
Ahead of next weekend's game against Southampton, former Swans and Saints defender Matthew Bound reflects on his time at both clubs...
Southampton have always had an excellent reputation for the quality of their youth academy, with the likes of Terry Paine, Mick Channon, Alan Shearer, Matthew Le Tissier, Gareth Bale, Wayne Bridge, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain amongst those to have come through the ranks at club over the last number of decades.
Matthew Bound was another player to establish a professional career having initially joined the Saints at the age of 13. Bound was spotted by scout Rod Ruddick, who still works for the Saints to this day as Youth Recruitment Officer, and was subsequently invited for trials at Southampton's satellite training facility in Bath. He went on to make his first-team debut for the club in 1991.
"Southampton had a very strong youth set-up back then which continues to this day, with it also being a very community and family driven club," said Bound. "All the older pros looked after the young pros and the younger pros looked after the apprentices, which was fantastic. There were no superstars as such and everyone got on with everyone. You'd even see the directors and chairman regularly, and they'd be asking how you were, how your family were. It was a great club to start a career at for sure."
Bound made five first team appearances for Southampton between 1991 and 1994, also making seven league starts and scoring his first career goal during a loan spell at Hull in 1993. He moved to Stockport County in 1994, going on to make 44 league appearances and scoring five goals during his time at Edgeley Park. There was also another loan spell during this period, with Bound playing four league matches for Lincoln City. In 1997, he was on the move once again as Swansea City made their move.
"One of my old team mates at Southampton, Micky Adams, went on to manage Fulham and he made an enquiry for about me when I was at Stockport but nothing got arranged," recalls Bound on his move to the Vetch Field. "Micky was then briefly player-manager at Swansea and looked into the possibility of signing me again when he was there. I wasn't in the team at Stockport at the time, so a move suited me. Micky left after just a week or so at Swansea, but Alan Cork who took charge after him followed the inquiry through and took me to the Vetch."
Bound wasted no time at all in establishing himself as a real fans' favourite at the Vetch Field and started in the club's memorable matches against West Ham United in the FA Cup during the 1998-99 season. Having held the Hammers to a 1-1 draw at Upton Park, John Hollins' team famously beat the London outfit 1-0 in the replay at the Vetch Field. Goalkeeper Roger Freestone, together with Bound and his defensive partner Jason Smith, resisted a West Ham onslaught to hold on for a historic win.
"The West Ham games were brilliant, but so was the rest of that cup run," says Bound. "We beat Millwall 3-0 at the Vetch in the first round before beating Stoke to reach the third round. Funnily enough, there are some defeats that season that spring to mind, too. The Saturday before we beat West Ham in the replay, we lost 4-0 away at Exeter and that was certainly the wake-up call we needed before such a big game."
Bound's biggest highlight in a Swansea shirt happened a year later when the club were promoted to the old Division Two (now League One) having won the Division Three title.
"Winning the old Division Three was absolutely fantastic" he said. "The fact the chase for promotion and then the title went right down to the wire kept everyone on their toes and kept our focus. We were really close as a team and socialised a lot."
Bound was named in the 1999-2000 PFA Third Division Team of the Year along with fellow Swans midfielder Nick Cusack. Sadly the Swans remained in the third tier for just one season, relegated along with Bristol Rovers, Luton Town and Oxford United in 2001.
Bound spent part of the next season on loan with Oxford, before signing for the 'U's' permanently in 2002. He made 100 league appearances between 2001 and 2004, before retiring from the game in 2006, having also played for Weymouth and Eastleigh.
"The time since retiring seems to have flown by," says Bound, who is now the Director of two companies. "It was always my ambition to return to the Swansea area when I retired, given that my wife is from here originally and I love living here also. I was looking for a business opportunity locally and one came along, with Home from Home (www.homefromhome.com), which is a holiday home business with properties across the Mumbles, Gower and Swansea Marina. I am also a director of Team Tours of Cheltenham (www.teamtours.co.uk), which takes groups of sporting teams of all ages and ability on tour, either in the UK or abroad."