Where are they now? Cedric van der Gun
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 catch up with Dutch winger Cedric van der Gun.
Over the past decade, Swansea City have been well-served by a host of Dutch players including Kemy Agustien, Ferrie Bodde, Jonathan de Guzman, Marvin Emnes, Dwight Tiendalli, Michel Vorm and Dorus de Vries.
Then there is the current crop of Mike van der Hoorn, Luciano Narsingh, Leroy Fer and Erwin Mulder.
Winger Cedric van der Gun was another to follow the well-trodden path from the Netherlands to South Wales back in September 2009, when he signed for the Swans from Eredivisie outfit FC Utrecht.
“I knew Dorus and Ferrie from previous clubs and they told me all about the Swans,” he recalls.
“I always had the ambition of playing in the United Kingdom and the Championship is a very good standard of football.
“Those were important factors in terms of me deciding to join the club, as was the manager, Paulo Sousa.”
After making his debut as a substitute in a 2-0 defeat against Preston North End, van der Gun made a positive impression with the Swans, who went on to finish seventh in the Championship that season.
“I was impressed with the qualities within our team and the standard of performance,” he says. “I knew then we were going to have a good season and so it proved.”
Six matches into his Swans career, van der Gun scored the first of seven goals in 42 appearances for the club in a 2-0 win over Scunthorpe United.
“I thought ‘it’s about time’ when I saw the ball hit the back of the net,” he smiles.
“It felt like it took me a while to get my first Swansea goal and it was something of a relief when it arrived. It was especially pleasing that it came in a win.”
Having worked under Sousa, van der Gun was part of Brendan Rodgers’s Swans squad.
He featured in 10 league matches – and 16 overall – during the 2010-11 season, when Rodger’s team sealed promotion to the Premier League via the Championship play-offs.
“It was a fantastic Swansea team that got promoted,” he reflects.
“I played for Borussia Dortmund and Ajax during my career and, while that team wasn’t quite at the same level as those clubs, they certainly weren’t too far off.
“I think everyone saw the following season when they were in the Premier League how talented they were.
“They impressed everyone with a decent league finish in their first season and, of course, they’ve been there ever since.”
The last appearance of van der Gun’s Swans career came as a substitute in their 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest in March 2011.
He returned to the Netherlands that summer when he joined former club Utrecht, for whom he scored nine goals in 49 league games between 2012 and 2014 before retiring from playing.
“A year after I stopped playing, I started doing some coaching work with my old club, ADO Den Haag,” says van der Gun, who also played for the likes of FC Den Bosch and Willem II during his career, as well as winning five caps for the Netherlands at under-21 level.
“I spent two years as a coach at Den Haag before I joined Ajax at the start of this season to become assistant coach of their under-17 side.
“Having been part of the famous Ajax academy when I was a youngster, it is great to come back and be a coach here.
“The facility really is world-renowned and many of the players that have come through the academy have gone on to have fantastic careers in football.
“The level of talent is very high at all levels within the academy.”
Having only just celebrated his 39th birthday, van der Gun is still relatively young in coaching terms and is hoping he has a long career ahead of him.
“At first, I didn’t know whether or not I wanted to get into management or coaching,” he adds. “But, ever since I took my first role at Den Haag, I’ve been really keen on going as far as I can in my coaching career.
“I’d definitely be interested in taking on a managerial position, but my current focus is on doing as well as possible in my role at Ajax.”