Where are they now? Andy Gurney
Ever wondered what former Swans stars have been up to since hanging up their boots?
Well you are in the right place.
As part of a regular feature, we take a look at what some ex-Swansea City favourites have done since leaving SA1.
This week we track down Andy Gurney, who helped the Swans win promotion in their final year at Vetch Field.
Signed from Swindon Town in September 2004, Andy Gurney quickly established himself as an important member of the Swansea City side that won promotion to League One during the 2004-05 season.
The Bristol-born defender made 28 league appearances for Kenny Jackett’s men that campaign, as they gained automatic promotion by finishing third in the table.
“It was a great opportunity for me to join Swansea City and things worked out pretty well for me there,” says Gurney, who also played in five cup matches for the Swans. “I made my debut in a 1-0 defeat at Yeovil, but our form got better and better after that and as the season went on, I was only involved in two other league defeats for Swansea.”
Gurney was a rock in a watertight Swans defence that conceded just 43 goals in 46 matches during the campaign. Only Scunthorpe United had a better defensive record in the league, having let in just a single goal less.
“We had some really good defenders with the likes of Kevin Austin, Garry Monk, Sam Ricketts and Izzy Iriekpen, as well as a top goalkeeper in Willy Gueret,” he recalls.
“The foundation of any team is your defence and I was just happy to play my part in what was a solid backline.”
Gurney also contributed at the other end of the field, with a goal in the Swans’ 2-2 draw with Rochdale at Vetch Field in March 2005.
“I can remember it well, as it was a good strike from a decent range,” smiles Gurney. “Rochdale were a very good team at that time with Rickie Lambert and Grant Holt, two players who went on to play in the Premier League, up front.”
Gurney’s final appearance for the Swans came in their last-ever league match at the Vetch on April 30, 2005, when Adrian Forbes scored the only goal in 1-0 victory over Shrewsbury Town in front of a crowd of 11,469.
“I absolutely loved playing at the Vetch,” beams Gurney. “It was an incredible atmosphere there and the fans got right behind you.
“It was a very special afternoon playing in the last league match there, as you can imagine.”
The following week, Forbes was on target again in the Swans’ 1-0 win at Bury on the final day of the season, as the club clinched promotion to League One.
“It was the start of a rise up the leagues for Swansea and I’m delighted to see how well they’ve done since,” says Gurney, who returned to former club Swindon the following season.
“You always keep your eyes out for your old teams and it was great to see Swansea get to the Premier League and then to stay there ever since.”
Gurney dropped down from professional to non-league football in 2006, turning out for the likes of Clevedon Town, Havant & Waterlooville and Newport County prior to becoming manager of Weston-super-Mare three years later.
“Weston-super-Mare were struggling at the time and I was able to come in and steady the ship,” says Gurney.
“We survived in my first season as manager, which was our main objective. The following season didn’t go as well and despite playing some decent football, we had a difficult start to the campaign. That’s when I moved on.
“I’ve only come back into football in the last couple of years. I fell out of love with the game for a period if I’m honest.
“I’ve been managing a team called Roman Glass St George in the Western League since 2015, and my enjoyment of football has returned.
“Managing at a lower level to what you were used to as a player does have its frustrations, but all in all, it has been a great experience for me.”
Away from football, Gurney works as a driver for a Bristol-based company called RG Vehicle Movements.
“It took me a while to get my head around getting a normal job, so to speak, after football,” admits Gurney.
“I’ve been doing the job for quite a while now and it’s enjoyable from the perspective of getting out and about rather than being in an office or a warehouse, for example.
“We deliver vehicles to dealerships and individuals all around the country and no day is ever the same. My hours are also flexible, which fits nicely around my football commitments.”