Where are they now? Stephen Dobbie
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 Stephen Dobbie, one of the heroes of the side which carried the Swans into the Premier League.
Glasgow-born striker Stephen Dobbie played a significant role in Swansea City’s promotion to the Premier League in 2011.
He netted nine times in 41 Championship appearances during the regular season and was also on target in the 3-1 aggregate victory over Nottingham Forest in the play-off semi-finals.
He then played a vital role in the play-off final win over Reading, having a hand in Scott Sinclair’s second goal before netting the third at Wembley.
“The 2010-11 season was incredible for me and the club. It was probably my favourite season as a professional footballer,” reflects Dobbie, who scored 14 times in 67 appearances for Swansea overall between 2009 and 2013.
“There was a lot of emotion around at the start of the campaign, with Besian (Idrizaj) having passed away (at the age of 22). Everyone at the club wanted to do well for him.
“Things all just seemed to click for us and the whole season was just brilliant. That’s not just because we got promoted, but also because of the football we played. It was a joy to be a part of it. It was obviously hugely special to get promoted by winning a match at Wembley and scoring.”
Dobbie arrived at the Liberty Stadium from Queen of the South in the summer of 2009, having also represented the likes of Rangers, Hibernian and St Johnstone in the early stages of his career.
His Swans debut came in a 2-1 defeat at Leicester on the opening day of the Championship season, while his first goals for the club came as he got a brace in a 3-0 League Cup victory over Brighton & Hove Albion three days later.“It was a great feeling to get off the mark for Swansea with two goals,” smiles Dobbie.
“It was a very memorable evening, playing at the Liberty Stadium for the first time. I absolutely love that ground. There’s always a really good atmosphere there and the fans are magnificent.”
Dobbie was loaned to Blackpool in the second half of the 2009-10 season, scoring in the Tangerines’ play-off semi-final victory over Nottingham Forest, while he also came on as second-half substitute in their 3-2 win over Cardiff City in the final.
And 12 months later, he secured a second consecutive Premier League promotion with the Swans and figured in eight top-flight matches in 2011-12.
“I take a lot from playing matches in the Premier League,” says Dobbie. “I got to play against the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham, Manchester City and Arsenal. I could only have dreamed of that when I was starting out as a young professional in Scotland.”
In August 2012, Dobbie signed for Brighton.
But his time with the South Coast club was brief as he figured in just 15 Championship matches and scored two goals before being loaned to Crystal Palace in January 2013. He then completed a permanent move to the Eagles the following summer.
“It was a mixed experience for me at Brighton,” he remembers. “I really liked living in the area, the stadium was fantastic and they were a great bunch of lads there.
“The manager didn’t really use a No. 10 in his tactics, so I didn’t get a great deal of playing time. It’s just one of those things; sometimes you make moves that work out and sometimes they don’t.”
Dobbie was twice loaned to Blackpool during his time as a Palace player, having also spent two spells there while with the Swans.
He was also loaned to Fleetwood Town during the 2014-15 campaign prior to signing for Bolton Wanderers, while he moved back to his native Scotland in 2016 to re-sign for Queen of the South.
“I always said when I left Queen of the South in 2009 that I saw myself going back there eventually,” Dobbie adds.
“It’s a move that has really suited me because as well as playing, I’m also coaching the under-17s here. I’ve recently completed my Uefa A licence qualification, which I studied for through the Irish Football Association in Belfast.
“I work with the under-17s on a Thursday night and I also help out on their matchdays as much as I can. I would love to have a career in coaching and even management one day.
“I’ve always said, though, that football doesn’t owe me anything, so if that kind of a career doesn’t work out then so be it. As far as the playing side of things goes, I’m getting a great deal of enjoyment out of featuring in the team regularly.”
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