Where are they now? Sean McCarthy

2nd May 2018

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 Sean McCarthy, the Welsh striker who enjoyed a long career after making his name with the Swans.

A few months after signing for Swansea City from Bridgend Town, Sean McCarthy made his professional debut as an 18-year-old in the 1-1 draw with Bournemouth in January 1986.

The striker quickly went on to establish himself as a regular in the Swans starting XI, scoring some famous goals in his three-year spell at Vetch Field.

“I have some great memories of Swansea City and the old Vetch Field,” he smiles.

“It was a fantastic place to play and there was always a great atmosphere.

“Even though we had our struggles, including getted relegated in my first season there, we had a decent team with the likes of Colin Pascoe, Andy Melville, Chris Coleman and Alan Davies, and there was a tremendous team spirit.”

In January 1987, McCarthy scored twice for the Swans – then in the old Fourth Division – in a 3-2 victory over second-tier West Bromwich Albion in the third round of the FA Cup, including a dramatic last-minute winner.

“I’ll never forget the pitch invasion when the final whistle blew,” he reflects.

“Two of my brothers were there and I remember them coming over to me on the pitch, but I don’t think anyone minded after a result like that.

“I had a decent record against West Brom during my career. I also remember scoring a hat-trick against them for Plymouth Argyle a few years later.”

McCarthy’s eight goals in 23 league matches during the regular 1987-88 season helped the Swans to a sixth-place finish in the Fourth Division, securing their play-off spot in the process.

The striker proved to be the Swans’ man for the big occasion in those games, as they gained promotion to the Third Division.

“The play-off matches were fantastic,” he says.

“We played Rotherham United in the semi-finals. I scored in both legs as we won 1-0 at home and drew 1-1 up at Millmoor.

“The final against Torquay United was incredible. I scored in both legs of that, too, as we won 2-1 at the Vetch and drew 3-3 at Torquay.

“It was great to play my part in getting the club promoted.”

McCarthy’s play-off heroics proved to be his last act for the Swans, as he departed for Plymouth in August 1988.

He later turned out for the likes of Bradford City, Oldham Athletic – for whom he played in the Premier League – Bristol City and Exeter City, as well as having a second spell with Plymouth before retiring from playing in 2004.

Four years later, he became manager of Truro Town and has since held several coaching positions at various Football League clubs.

“My first experience of management at Truro Town was a good one,” McCarthy reflects. “The chairman (Kevin Heaney) was really good to me and that was massively helpful starting out as a manager.

“He was very ambitious and always tried to help out in respect of signing players whenever he could.

“We got promoted to the Southern League Premier Division in my first season there, but struggled a little bit the following campaign, which was when I left.

“After Truro, I did some coaching at Plymouth Argyle and Ipswich Town under Paul Jewell.

“Most recently, I was first-team coach at Newport County under the management of Warren Feeney, who was great to work alongside.

“He’s very enthusiastic and is doing very well at Crawley Town. He’s got a property in Plymouth where I’m currently based, so we meet up for a beer now and again.”

Since his departure from Newport in October 2016, McCarthy has been working as a part-time scout for Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion, with his focus centring around the identification of possible signings for the Seagulls’ academy.

“I use a system called Scout7, which enables me to watch videos of young players and make recommendations where I see fit,” he explains.

“I’ve enjoyed the role so far and it’s great to keep my hand in with work in football.

“I’d definitely be interested in another coaching role going forward if the right opportunity came up.”