Where are they now? Tom Butler

18th January
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 winger Tom Butler, who played 144 matches in all competitions - scoring 11 goals - for the Swans between 2006-2012.
Butler now works as a consultant for sports management company Code:4 Sports and is a player-coach for Sunderland RCA.

It was Sunderland who spotted the abilities of Tom Butler when he was a youngster.
The Dublin-born wideman was scouted by Black Cats legend and then youth-team coach Pop Robson when he was playing for the Republic of Ireland's under-15 side.
Butler subsequently joined the Wearsiders' academy and ultimately gained a professional contact at the Stadium of Light.
"I came to visit Sunderland when I was a schoolboy and I loved the place," says Butler.
"I got on with everyone there very well and I always felt well supported at the club as I was making the various transitions from the youth team to the reserves and then the first team.
"My debut for Sunderland came against Walsall (in September 1999) in a League Cup tie. I can remember feeling pretty nervous as I hadn't been expecting to be in the squad for that game.
"I was still pretty raw at the time, so it was a big step up for me. But what a fantastic privilege it was and I remember being straight on the phone to my parents to tell them all about it.
"It was extra special for my debut to have come at the Stadium of Light, which is an incredible venue."
Butler went on to make 36 appearances for Sunderland in all competitions between 1999 and 2004, and was part of the Black Cats squad that twice achieved top-seven finishes in the Premier League in that time.
He was loaned to Darlington in 2000 before departing for good in 2004 to sign for Dunfermline Athletic.
A year later he moved to Hartlepool United before joining Swansea City in 2006.
"(Then Swans manager) Kenny Jackett expressed an interest in signing me from Hartlepool and it was a move that really appealed to me," explains Butler.
"Swansea had moved into the Liberty Stadium and had some fantastic technical players.
"There was that real feeling that they were a club on the up and so it proved.
"I was also attracted by the style of football Swansea were playing and I felt I would fit in well given my own style of play."
Butler made his Swans debut against Cheltenham Town at the Liberty Stadium on the opening day of the 2006-07 season.
He would go on to make 144 appearances for the Swans in all competitions through until 2012, scoring 11 goals in the process.
Perhaps his most notable performance for the club came in a 3-0 FA Cup win at then Premier League club Sheffield United in January 2007, with Butler scoring twice.
"There was no pressure on us going to Sheffield United as they were the Premier League club and we were in League One," remembers Butler.
"We didn't even field our strongest team that day but still managed to beat a top-flight side 3-0.
"I think that victory made a lot of people stand up and take notice of Swansea City because it showed what strength we had in our squad and the kind of football we were playing."
The following campaign saw the Swans gain promotion to the Championship, winning the League One title in 2007-08.
"That was a fantastic season for me," smiles Butler.
"I played in lots of matches that season (50 appearances in all competitions), got a decent number of goals (six) and we obviously won the title.
"Roberto Martinez was absolutely fantastic for me. He allowed me to play with freedom and he used to say to me 'just go out there and attack'."
Butler has been busy since retiring from playing, working as a consultant for sports management company Platinum One, while he managed Newcastle United Women's Football Club in the FA Women's Premier League last season.
Currently, he is a player-coach for Sunderland RCA (Ryhope Community Association) and has recently started working as consultant for another sports management and marketing agency, Code:4 Sports.
"I am able to pass on my experience of being in a youth academy and being a professional to the young players that are on their (Code:4 Sports) books," adds Butler.
"It's good for me to be able to speak to players about scenarios they are facing, whether it's an injury, being dropped by the manager, moving clubs etc. They are all things I have experienced and can talk to them about."