Where are they now? Matthew Bound

9th November
Where Are They Now?
Have you ever wondered what a former Swans player has been up to since hanging up his boots?
In a regular feature, we catch up with past players to give you the answers.

 

This week we focus on former Swans defender Matthew Bound, who played 176 league matches for the club between 1997 and 2002, who now runs a self-catering agency in the Gower.

Having signed from Stockport County in November 1997, Matthew Bound would go on to enjoy one of the happiest periods of his playing career here at Swansea City between 1997 and 2002.
Bound was a key component of the Swans side that won the old Division Three title in 2000 and was named in the divisional PFA Team of the Year that campaign.
It wasn't only the club that would have a profound effect on Bound, but the city of Swansea and the surrounding area too.
In the latter stages of his football career, playing for the likes of Weymouth (2004-06 & 2009) and Eastleigh (2006-07), he dreamt of returning to South Wales with his wife and young family after he had hung up his boots.
"I was doing my financial planning exams (FBCS) while I was playing for Weymouth at Bournemouth College and I was doing a business studies course at Lackham College in Wiltshire," explains Bound. "It was all about getting that business background prior to retiring from football so I had a profession to go into after that.
"My wife and I kept our home in Swansea after I left the Swans. I went to play for Eastleigh in 2006 and within a couple of months of being there, the opportunity came up to purchase a Swansea-based company called Home From Home. This seemed to be the perfect next step to enable us to move back to Swansea, so we bought the business while I was still playing and we've been running it ever since."
Matt's business manages and markets self-catering holiday cottages on the Gower Peninsula with ten members of staff in total working from their headquarters on Newton Road in Mumbles.
"We have two clients really - one is the cottage owners, the other is the guests," continues Bound. "We market, advertise, photograph and manage on behalf of individual cottage owners, be it for owners who live locally or abroad. It might be that they need our assistance in one element of those things mentioned, all of them or something in-between. That's how we proceed, we take care of the aspects they need us too.
"As far as the guests go, we look after the bookings and make sure everything is done so that the visitors have the best time."
Matt says that Swansea City's promotion to the Premier League in 2011 had a hugely positive impact on his business by "putting Swansea and the Gower on the world map".
And the Swans will always be a club Bound has a huge amount of affection for after five successful years in the white shirt.
"I had a fantastic time playing for Swansea City," he acknowledges. "The first season (1997-98) was a real whirlwind. I joined in the November and the team was struggling at the time but Corky (manager Alan Cork) managed to keep us in the division (the old Division Three).
"The following season (1998-99) was much better. John Hollins came in and brought in players he knew to the club and they made a real impact. We got to the play-offs but sadly lost to Scunthorpe in extra-time of the semi-final, second leg.
"We were devastated after the way we lost at Scunthorpe and I think it made everyone even more focused the following season (1999-2000). It made us think 'we have to go up automatically this time around'.
"The team spirit amongst that squad was second to none. We weren't the most technically gifted team, but we were methodical and we won a lot of matches 1-0. I think that speaks volumes about the ethos of the players. Once we took the lead, each and every one of us from goalkeeper to the strikers was determined to hold on to it."
During the 2001-02 season, Bound was loaned to Oxford United and subsequently signed for the U's on a permanent basis in the summer of 2002. He went on to play a total of 100 league games for the Kassam Stadium club through until 2004 - scoring twice for them.
It's fair to say his football heart had never left Swansea City though.
"I found my time at Oxford tough, mainly because of the manager," laments Bound. "When I was on loan there I asked to return to Swansea, but I wasn't allowed because of the financial situation Swansea were in at the time. I moved to Oxford permanently but it wasn't a great period of my career I have to say. I hadn't ever wanted to leave Swansea City."