Where are they now? Nick Cusack

29th March
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 skipper and player-manager Nick Cusack, who played 200 league matches and scored 13 goals for the club between 1997 and 2002.
Cusack is now assistant chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association.



Nick Cusack's working relationship with the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) has spanned the best part of two decades.
Cusack, a former Swansea City captain and player-manager, originally became the club's PFA representative shortly after arriving at the Vetch back in 1997.
Having held a variety of posts with the organisation, the former midfielder was appointed as assistant chief executive to Gordon Taylor back in 2012.
"It has been a fantastic experience for me and I am so proud of the work that the PFA does," reflects Cusack on his ongoing association with football's trade union.
"Nothing replaces playing, but this is the next best thing for me. You never know what you will face each day and that makes the job both exciting and challenging.
"I am dealing with players on a daily basis and I look to resolve whatever issues they might have.
"I am able to utilise the experience I have from my playing and managerial days in the role. One thing I really try to do is to help the young players.
"In particular, I try to ensure they do not make the mistakes I did when I was their age!
"Of course my work with the PFA all stems from my time at Swansea City. I became a PFA delegate during my time with the Swans, then I got onto the executive management committee and became chairman.
"I would go for meetings quarterly and it would give me an opportunity to see first-hand the great work the PFA do and also to work with Gordon Taylor. It was a great education for me.
"After I left Swansea in 2002, I joined the PFA as a full-time executive in the financial management department before moving across to the delegate liaison department in 2007, and I have been the assistant chief executive for the last five years."
Cusack enjoyed a notable 15-year playing career which saw him make a total of 535 league appearances - and score 90 goals - for the likes of Leicester City, Peterborough United, Motherwell, Darlington, Oxford United and Wycombe Wanderers (loan).
During the 1997-98 season, he moved from Fulham to SA1, making his debut for the Swans at Cardiff City on November 2, 1997.
"That was quite a baptism of fire, making my Swansea debut in the South Wales derby live on Sky Sports," smiles Cusack, who went on to make 200 Swans league appearances and scored 13 goals through until 2002.
"Keith Walker scored the only goal of the match to give us all three points and I remember thinking 'that's going to help me win over the fans - being in a team that beat Cardiff on my debut'."
During the 1998-99 season, Cusack was part of a team who pulled off a number of memorable FA Cup upsets.
The Swans, who were in the old Third Division at the time (now League Two) saw off two Second Division sides in the shape of Millwall and Stoke City before beating Premier League outfit West Ham United in a third-round replay.
In the following campaign, Cusack captained the Swans to the Third Division title, playing 43 of the club's 46 league matches that season.
"Winning the title in 1999-2000 was fantastic," beams Cusack.
"It was a tough old season, which saw us win 1-0 about 12 times I think. Because of that, we had to hang on quite a bit in games.
"We'd go 1-0 up at a place like Hartlepool early on and then we'd be under the cosh after that.
"We were really good at seeing games out, though it was nice on the rare occasion we'd have a 3-0 win or something like that so you could have a bit of pressure taken off!"
In April 2002, not long after he had helped the Swans cope with the stormy reign of chairman Tony Petty, Cusack was appointed as player-manager of a struggling side alongside team-mate Roger Freestone.
But after just 17 games in charge, Cusack departed the club the following September.
"It is always difficult when you suddenly go from being everyone's team-mate to being a manager," says Cusack.
"It was a real honour to have been asked to do the job. I ultimately learned that football management wasn't for me but, results aside, it was a very positive experience because I think it has helped shape the career I have today."