First Team Staff

Russell Martin


Russell Martin was confirmed as Swansea City's head coach on a three-year contract in August 2021.

A former defender, Martin enjoyed a 15-year playing career that began in the youth ranks at Brighton and Hove Albion and included winning 29 caps for Scotland.

After spells with Wycombe Wanderers and Peterborough United – the latter of whom he helped achieve promotion to the Championship as skipper – a loan move to Norwich City followed.

His stint at Carrow Road proved such a success that he joined permanently in January 2010 with the Canaries on their way to the League One title.

Martin spent the next eight years in East Anglia, helping the club win promotion to the Premier League in 2011 and 2015.

During his time at Norwich he played alongside current Swansea squad members Ryan Bennett, Kyle Naughton and Korey Smith.

After a brief loan spell with Scottish side Glasgow Rangers, Martin left Norwich in 2018 and joined Walsall as a player-coach.

From there he agreed to join Milton Keynes Dons in January 2019, and helped them secure promotion to League One at the conclusion of the campaign.

Then, following Paul Tisdale’s departure as manager in November 2019, Martin was appointed his successor and subsequently announced his retirement as a player.

After keeping the Dons in League One at the end of the 2019-20 season, Martin guided the side to a 13th placed finish last season after implementing an attractive style that saw the Dons sit behind only Manchester City and Barcelona in Europe when it came to their dominance of possession.

His approach and his commitment to it have won him no shortage of plaudits, and marked him out as one of the brightest young coaches in the game.


Matt Gill

Matt Gill became Swansea City’s technical development coach in August 2021.

The 40-year-old enjoyed a 17-year playing career that saw him make over 450 league appearances across spells with Peterborough United, Notts County, Exeter City, Norwich City, Walsall, Bristol Rovers and Tranmere Rovers.

It was at Prenton Park that Gill would move into coaching, initially as assistant manager to Rob Edwards.

Following Edwards’ departure he returned to Norwich to work within the club’s academy set-up, having a spell in charge of the under-23s.

He joined their East Anglia rivals Ipswich in October 2018, taking up a position in Paul Lambert’s coaching staff.

He remained at Portman Road under Paul Cook, following a short stint as caretaker boss, before briefly joining former Norwich team-mate Martin at MK Dons ahead of their moves to Swansea.


Dean Thornton

Dean Thornton took on the responsibilities of goalkeeping coach following his arrival in Swansea in August 2021.

The former keeper had stints with Wycombe Wanderers – where he first met Martin at the age of 16 – and Queens Park Rangers, and went on to spend nine years working as head of academy goalkeeping for the west London club.

He left Loftus Road to work under Gill at Swindon before a spell working with the Taiwan national side.

Thornton linked up with Martin at MK Dons in November 2019, and has now joined him at Swansea.


Matt Willmott

Matt Willmott joined the Swans as head of physical performance in August 2021

He first joined MK Dons as lead sports scientist in June of 2013 and spent three years at the club before moving to Leicester City in 2016, where he became lead strength and conditioning coach after a short period as the Foxes’ lead youth development sport scientist.

He returned to MK Dons in February 2018, and remained as their head fitness and conditioning coach throughout Martin’s time in charge of the club.


Ben Parker

First-team performance analyst Ben Parker made the move from stadium:mk to the Swans in August 2021

Starting off with a coaching role with MK City Ladies, Parker went on to hold strength and conditioning roles with Leicester Tigers and Warwickshire Country Cricket Club academies.

He returned to Milton Keynes football in August of 2017 when he became academy performance analyst intern at the then-League Two club, and he soon progressed to the first-team set-up.

He became assistant first-team performance analyst in July 2018, before being promoted to the lead role a year later.