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Monday 2nd January 2023


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Jullian Notes

A very Happy New Year to you all, and welcome back to the Stadium for our first game of 2023 against Burnley.

I hope you all enjoyed the celebrations as we rang in the start of the next 12 months, and there was certainly a lot to be pleased about after we rounded out 2022 with an outstanding result and performance against Watford here on Friday.

We enter 2023 with a lot to look forward to as we look to continue the progress we have made on and off the pitch over the last year to 18 months.

On the pitch the strides we have made under Russell and his staff have been clear to see, no more so than in the manner in which we emphatically beat a Watford team many have tipped for promotion, completing a league double over them into the bargain.

To watch the fluency with which we play now compared to all the way back in Russell’s first game against Blackburn in August 2021 is to view a completely different team.

Of course, there is frustration that we have not got more points on the board given the quality of some of the football we have played, no-one feels that more acutely than Russell, his staff and the players themselves.

But the division remains incredibly tight and there is an awfully long way to go, and no-one needs any reminding of how unpredictable the Championship can prove to be.

We have been open with supporters in underlining a desire to operate in a more sustainable fashion, and not fall into the trap of chasing success at all costs without having the correct structures in place.

These things take time to come to full effect, but we are clear in what we want to achieve, and how we want to go about it.

As a club we are all aligned, and that clarity will hopefully be a big asset for us as we seek to be successful doing things our way.

Off the pitch, we have a bucket collection for Age Cymru West Glamorgan at today’s fixture, raising money for a charity that does so much good work in our local community.

Lee Trundle, our club ambassador, recently surprised life-long Swans fan and Age Cymru West Glamorgan service user Norman Chinnock by visiting him at home, with Norman being one of more than 4,000 elderly people across Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend who rely on the services provided by the charity.

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing cost of living crisis, donations to Age Cymru have dropped by 47 per cent at a time when demands on their service are soaring. This could leave thousands of older people in the region left to choose between buying food or heating their homes this winter.

We hope the bucket collection will provide more valuable support, while we are also working in partnership with the charity and Swansea City AFC Foundation to call on the Jack Army to check in on your friends and neighbours.

It’s been a challenging time for many people, and you never know what others may be going through. You could be making a huge difference to someone’s day simply by knocking on the door and giving them a smile.

Finally, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all the staff, players and supporters who have made the long journey from Burnley for this afternoon’s match.

Enjoy the game,


Julian Winter Signature

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A Message from Russell Martin

Good afternoon and a Happy New Year to you all as we return to the Stadium for our Championship fixture against Burnley.

We start 2023 eager to try and pick up where we left off in our final game of 2022, where we produced an outstanding performance to beat Watford 4-0 here on Friday.

The players produced a display of real energy and intensity, one I hope has set a benchmark for us moving forward.

We often talk about the need for players to be willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of the team because of how we play, and every single player in the squad for Friday’s game exhibited that selflessness and it was a key facet in our victory.

It was a great all-round team performance, but I do want to give a special mention to Liam Cullen. He is a young man who cares so deeply about this club, and it is evident in the work he puts in each and every day.

Liam is reaping the rewards at the moment and has earned the opportunity to play and start games.

We also showed that ruthless edge we had been missing in the two penalty areas.

I was really pleased with how clinical we were in taking our chances – we scored four goals from seven shots on target - and we were able to do the ugly, horrible side of the game when required in our own territory and picked up a clean sheet as a result.

I was delighted for the players because, while we had been on a run of games without a win, our analysis of our performances suggested we were so close to producing the sort of showing we put on against Watford.

Over the previous eight games we had had over 50 shots more than our opponents, while there was also a sizeable gap in our favour for shots on target and in terms of the number of touches we were having in the attacking penalty area.

At the other end of the field, we are alongside Burnley in allowing the fewest shots on our goal per game.

Ultimately, if we keep putting ourselves in those positions, and show conviction and a clinical edge, then results will reward performances.

It will also reward you, the supporters, for your fantastic backing of the team.

I absolutely loved the atmosphere here on Friday night. We could feel the connection between the team and the fans, and everyone fed off each other in creating a hostile environment for the away side.

We will need the same again as we face a Burnley team who currently sit top of the league, with many tipping them for an immediate return to the Premier League.

Vincent Kompany has done a great job and I am a big admirer of the way they play. They also have a certain Connor Roberts in their ranks.

We did not get a chance to work with Connor when we arrived here as he was recovering from injury, but he is a great lad who is held in high regard at this football club, and I am sure he will get a warm reception.

With two sides determined to dominate the ball, this promises to be an entertaining game and we are focused on building on that showing against Watford and producing a performance you can be proud of.

Enjoy the game,


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A Message from Matt Grimes

Good afternoon and welcome to everyone joining us from around the world for our first Championship fixture of 2023 against Burnley at the Stadium.

We go into the game off the back of a super performance and result against Watford at home on Friday.

It was a brilliant night, we showed real conviction and it was the perfect reaction to what has been a tough spell for us.

In recent weeks we’ve spoken about the need to be more clinical, to not concede first and be horrible when we need to be and we did all of those things on Friday.

It was massive for us as players and staff but also for the supporters, they brought an unbelievable atmosphere as they always do and it was great to repay them with that performance.

It was another goal for Liam Cullen and another two for Joel Piroe which meant they both now have three goals from three games. You can see the connection they have and how much they’re enjoying playing in this system and alongside each other.

It’s amazing to see Culls grabbing his opportunity with both hands and getting goals and assists for the club he’s supported all his life, he’s been so patient and we couldn’t be happier for him. 

Friday was the perfect way for us to end 2022 but we want to start 2023 in similar fashion and build on the Watford performance.

We’re expecting a tough test against a strong Burnley side but we’ll be prepared and will do everything possible to put in a performance we can all be proud of.

Thank you for your support and wishing you all a happy and healthy 2023.

Enjoy the game today!

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A Message from your Supporter's Trust

We welcome the Clarets of Burnley to the Stadium today, including their ex-Jacks: Jack Cork and Connor Roberts.

The upcoming start of 2023 gives us plenty of time to reflect on the past 12 months and to make wishes for the year ahead. This year we are particularly grateful that there is no lockdown in the UK. It is three years since we have been able to watch football over the festive period, in our stadium.

For the last two winters, pubs have been shut, families stayed indoors and football was played behind closed doors. Football being available to us all this time around gives the Trust great cause for celebration and we hope that our fortress is rocking tonight with great cheer.

As well as our game being given back to us and the Jack Army getting to witness two home games in a row for the first time since October, your Supporters’ Trust has a lot to reflect upon over the past year.

Since the last lockdown was lifted, we have been able to remain busy with our daily roles and also reprise some traditional activities which we feared had been lost to the Covid crisis.

We were delighted to attend the club’s awards ceremony back in May and that evening was rounded off perfectly with DSA member, and our very own, Cath Dyer receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. This was just reward for all of the hard work that Cath does behind the scenes for the Trust, the DSA and the club. She epitomises what this club represents.

Along with Cath, we have great variety on your Trust board. Experienced members are combined with some fresh, energetic new faces who have made an instant impact and contributed some excellent ideas and vision. One of those is Tony Sharp. He joined the board in the summer and was instrumental with the membership and fundraising committee in bringing back the Trust and club’s charity bowling night. That evening was attended by many of the first-team squad and was a great success. Off the back of it we have other events being lined up for Trust members.

We also have board members who have business and leadership experience, strategy planning and sustainability expertise, legal and accounting skills and so much more. The one thing that binds us is our love for the football club, the community as a whole and providing further advantages for our members.

It is so easy to take advantage of the benefits of Trust membership. Just visit and click on the Join the Trust link.  You could then be involved in our activities with the club, win prizes in our regular draws or put questions to the club’s senior management team through your supporter director.

From speaking to many supporter organisations around the country, we know they are envious of our relationship with the club, which means we have a lot to be thankful for.

As for what we hope 2023 may bring? That is easy. We want a great January transfer window that will add to the squad and help propel us on to promotion. This means keeping a hold of our best players, and the fans keeping the stadium the rocking fortress it usually is.

A great way to kick it off would be three points and a glass of claret today, even if it means having to spoil the start of Jack and Connor’s Year.

Happy New Year YJBs.



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Meet the Opposition, Hull City.

As Swansea City prepare to host Burnley at the Stadium, we take a closer look at the Clarets.

What’s their story?

Sheffield United squad celebrating scoring at the MKM Stadium

Established in 1882. Burnley Football Club were one of the founding members of the Football League.  

They have won two top-tier titles, with the first coming in 1921 during a campaign where they put together a 30-match unbeaten run, while their second came in 1960. They were also FA winners in 1914.

They have had three spells in the Premier League since the launch of the new top division in 1992.

Their first two promotions were followed by immediate relegation in 2010 and 2015, but under Sean Dyche they firmly established themselves in the top-flight.

A seventh-placed finish in 2018 secured European qualification, but they fell back down to the second tier at the end of last season, bringing an end to a six-year stint in the Premier League.

Who's the gaffer?

Photograph of Vincent Kompany

Former Manchester City and Belgium defender Vincent Kompany is the man in charge at Turf Moor, after replacing caretaker manager Mike Jackson last summer. 

Kompany joined from his hometown club of Anderlecht, where he had been in charge for two seasons following his retirement from playing. 

Having started his playing career in Belgium with Anderlecht, securing two league titles in the process, the centre-back continued to learn his trade during two seasons with Hamburg before then Manchester City boss Mark Hughes signed the defender in 2008.

Kompany enjoyed a wealth of success in his 265 appearances over an 11-year spell with the Citizens, winning the Premier League and EFL Cup on four occasions, as well as twice securing the FA Cup.

He was named Premier League player of the season for the 2011-12 campaign, while he also represented his country on 89 occasions, helping them to third place at the 2018 World Cup.

His exploits earned him a statue outside the Etihad Stadium.

Who’s the captain? 

Photograph of club captain Jack Cork

Former Swansea City midfielder Jack Cork was named as the new captain of Burnley for this season, replacing Ben Mee as the defender departed for Brentford.

The former Chelsea trainee and son of former Swansea manager Alan Cork is fondly remembered for his wholehearted performances during two-and-a-half years and 83 appearances for the Swans.

He scored a superb goal in a 3-1 win over Liverpool to help secure Premier League safety in 2016 before but left the club for Burnley in the summer of 2017.

But it was at Southampton that Cork first really emerged, having been farmed out on loan on numerous occasions at Chelsea.

He would help the Saints climb to the Premier League from the Championship in his first season as a permanent signing, and he remained an important figure until being unable to agree a new contract during the 2014-15 season.

Since being snapped up by then manager Sean Dyche at Turf Moor in 2017, Cork has gone on to be a key figure in the Clarets midfield playing more than 150 games over five seasons. 

How's their form?

Burnley Form

Outstanding. The Clarets have suffered just one defeat since August, and have won nine out of their last 10 league games.

Their sole defeat in that sequence was a 5-2 loss in a breathless encounter against Sheffield United.

Their form has seen them lead the way at the top of the table and few would bet against them making an immediate return to the top tier.

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Burnley have a number of young, energetic players making a mark this season, but it is experienced forward Jay Rodriguez who tops the goalscoring charts for the Clarets.

The 33-year-old is in his second spell with Burnley, having originally come through the Lancashire club’s academy system.

He helped them secure promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs in 2009, and went on to earn a move to top-flight Southampton in 2012.

He would spend five years at St Mary’s, scoring 35 goals as he helped Saints become regular top-half finishers and reach the League Cup final in 2017.

Two years with West Brom would follow, with Rodriguez’s return of 22 goals during the 2018-19 season leading to his return to Burnley after the Baggies were unable to secure promotion.

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Belgium-born Morocco international Anass Zaroury has made his mark in his first season with the Clarets with an excellent run of form prior to the World Cup break.

After scoring his first goal for the club against the Swans in October, he has seven goals from his last 11 Championship appearances, also contributing two assists.

He returns to club action after being part of the Morocco squad that reached the World Cup semi-finals, featuring in the third-place play-off against Croatia.

Zaroury played his age-grade international football for Belgium, having been born in Mechelen and had spells with Zulte Waregem, Lommel and Charleroi.

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Nathan Tella has made the most of the opportunity for regular game time by being another to stand out during an impressive first half of the campaign for Vincent Kompany’s men.

The 23-year-old has eight goals and one assist to his name since joining on loan from Southampton.

Tella spent 10 years on the books with Arsenal, and had trials with Reading and Norwich City before joining Saints in 2017.

He made his senior debut in as a substitute in a victory over Norwich in 2020, and he made his first Premier League start (against Leeds) and netted his first top-flight goal against Fulham in 2022.


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Q+A with Matt Gill



Matt, as we head into the festive period you can reflect on 18 months at Swansea City since joining alongside Russell Martin. How much have you enjoyed your time here and how have you viewed the season so far?

“It’s been brilliant. It seems like we have been here longer than 18 months. Joining Swansea was a bit of a whirlwind given we had been at MK Dons, and I had only been there a short period before we moved.

“It’s been a whirlwind 18 months. I’ve loved every minute of it. It was a big decision to move the family, but they’ve loved every minute, like I have. Last year was a real building season to establish what we want to be.

“This year we had a slowish start, but I'm really happy with where we are currently. I think we could have done with a few more points, we’ve lost a few here and there. All in all though the performances have been great. It gives us a real opportunity to build on something after this World Cup break.

“In terms of the actual decision to come here, as I say it was a massive decision at the time, for the family especially. I was lucky that my wife Bethan has been with me for all the moves since I was 18 or 19 years old.

“We’ve had a lot of moves in football. We’ve been lucky enough to have been based in Norwich for six or seven years, which is home for both of us. I’ve been pretty fortunate to have worked for Norwich and spent time also at Ipswich and MK Dons, where I've only had to travel for a short period. It was a massive decision, but one we were both excited about.

Matt Gill and Russell Martin


“I already knew Swansea a little bit. I had friends who had been at Swansea like Owain Tudur Jones and Adrian Forbes. I picked their brains before I came here. Russ obviously got some advice from Graham [Potter] the ex-manager and stuff like that. We tried to build a big picture of what we might be coming into.

“All we heard were positive things, outstanding things about the club and the area itself. That was especially important for me in terms of bringing the kids and Bethan. We’ve not been disappointed and have loved every moment of it. We’ve been able to spend more time as a family, which has been great. As far as the family side has been concerned that couldn’t have gone any better.

“The club had an excellent recent history with obviously a few years in the Premier League and a couple of play-off appearances, so it was a brilliant opportunity for us as staff to come and try and recreate some of the stuff we had done at MK Dons and try and improve and learn in the Championship.

“I think that’s what drew us to the job. Obviously, there’s lots of things to take into account when going to a club but it’s been a brilliant experience.”

Looking back at your playing days. What first influenced your decision to go into football? Did you have some inspirational figures in your life. How did it come about?

“I grew up in a real football family. I have two older brothers, which helps. They were really supportive. Mum and Dad were really supportive, taking me here and there for football. I think having brothers really helps because they get stuck into you.

“One of my brothers, Darren, had an apprenticeship at Norwich. Dean went into the Army and played football for the Army. We are a real football family.

“I had an opportunity to join Peterborough as a 16-year-old. Barry Fry was the manager and that was an unbelievable experience. He was brilliant, we’re still in contact now. He has been really supportive of my coaching journey.

“I got an opportunity at Peterborough and made my debut there. I had a brilliant time there. Every club I've been at over all these years 25 or so years, you meet so many brilliant people and have so many different experiences.

“There have been loads of highs as well as lows. There’s lots of lows, but I think that’s part of the journey. I’ve loved every minute, even the tough times, when you know there's a better time around the corner. The older you get, the more you learn how to cope with those tough times.

“When you’re a young pro there’s a lot of ups and downs. It continues throughout your career, whether it’s an injury or loss of form, but there’s plenty of good times to go with it. I’m really fortunate to have had the career I have had, and to now be on this journey with Russ and the other staff now.”

You had highs and lows during your time at Exeter. You worked with Paul Tisdale there, a coach who was linked with the Swans job on numerous occasions. What was he like to work with?

“I think there’s a real calmness with Tis [Paul Tisdale]. I think that brings consistency and that’s something that we try and recreate here, I think.

“There were a bunch of really good players there at the time that went on to play in the Premier League, people like Jamie Mackie and George Friend amongst others. It was quite a young squad there at the time, but Paul was consistent with us and gave us an opportunity to go and be ourselves on the pitch.

“I think there are a lot of similarities in the way Russ leads. The lads have a lot of autonomy about being themselves, being authentic to themselves and hopefully enjoying what they are doing. I think that’s a massive part of the environment and culture we’re trying to create at the club.

Matt Gill at Training


“We tell the lads to enjoy themselves because there’s so many tough times, you have to enjoy every minute you can.

“I had a brilliant time at Exeter, over three-and-a-bit years. I initially signed for Alex Inglethorpe, who's now academy manager at Liverpool. He left pretty quickly and Tis came in and I really loved it. Looking back at my career, that’s some of the most enjoyable football I’ve been part of.”

One of the tough times for yourself must have been being sent off in the 2007 play-off final at Wembley against Morecambe.

“That was obviously a real tough moment. Before playing for Exeter, I dropped out of the Football League. I was at Notts County and dropped out to play for Exeter and we got to the play-off final. I felt in that squad everyone thought it was their opportunity to get back in the league.

“I probably built it up a bit too much in my mind about getting back up into the league. I think there’s a big thing about playing league football. Once we conceded I just didn’t act appropriately and had a bit of a red mist moment.

“It’s disappointing. The weird thing about it though is the lad I stuck my head on actually played alongside me at Bristol Rovers.

“I had signed the day before pre-season had started and, in the hotel I was staying in, I went down to have breakfast and he’s sat there. It’s weird in football how it comes around.

“But that summer after the play-off final was very difficult. We were lucky enough to go back to Wembley again the following season and win, which was a bit of redemption, which is great.

“I think if we had lost the second play-off final on the trot it would have been tough to come back from, as individuals and also a club. To win that final that was brilliant for everyone because it was the majority of the boys who had lost the previous year. I managed to stay on the pitch this time, which was good!”

Do you think you learned a lot from the experience. Did it shape you as a player and a coach moving forward?

“Definitely, Russ regularly says to the lads that we learn from everything, wins and losses. You learn from every experience. That was certainly the case with that. Looking back now I wouldn’t change it because it helped me move forward. I hate losing and that was a big part in getting sent off.

“I think though you have to keep that desire. It’s in me. That’s me being my authentic self. I hate losing. You can lose in different ways and obviously react in different ways. It’s something I've learnt from, but I don’t think I can take that sort of aggression out of me. You just need to learn how to use it appropriately, and hopefully I have done that.

“I don’t know how many times I got sent off after that, maybe a couple. I actually got sent off as a staff member for Ipswich and that was kicking the top of an ice bucket that flew off and went onto the pitch, which is a little bit unlucky, but that was another red mist moment.

“These things happen and I don’t think you can take passion out of football and the emotions it makes you feel, it’s part of the game.”

Looking at the highs, then the Exeter team I had back-to-back promotions with was great and you then had promotion with Norwich. You’ve experienced some great moments in your career too.

“I think in that four-year period there were four promotions on the spin, which was unreal. Obviously, I had more impact in the Exeter ones than the Norwich ones. I’m not here to say I had anything to do with the Norwich ones because I didn’t. I was injured a lot and sort of along for the ride.

“I made very few appearances but loved my time there because it was returning home. Being in your hometown club with friends and family was brilliant. On the pitch it didn’t work how I wanted it to, but the experiences of the two promotions at Exeter and then two more, four on the spin was unreal.

“That’s what you do it for. It’s the same as what we do it for now. We want to win the big games and championships. That four-year period was immense and I'm really grateful for having those experiences and seeing what it takes.

“Whether I was fully involved like I was at Exeter, playing nearly every game, or not having any real impact at the pitch at Norwich but seeing what that environment was like, I am so grateful for it.

“I saw how winning environments are created, what they look like and what they feel like and what it takes week in week out.

“You learn all those things. That has certainly helped me on my coaching journey, that Norwich period, not really being involved, being on the periphery, but taking as much out of it as I could. I think I did that.

“I think I actually handled that situation well and it allowed me to go back as a coach. I tried to add as much value as I could being a bit part player on the periphery of the team, and I think I handled that pretty well.

“If I had handled that differently I don’t think I would have been invited back to be a coach at Norwich. I do think these things come around. If I had been a bit sulky and selfish, I don’t think I would have had a role back at the club. It’s weird how things work out.”

Matt Gill Instructing from the Sidelines


You mention your time at Norwich and the injuries you suffered over your career. How did you deal with being on the sidelines?

“I had five right knee operations throughout my career. Bristol Rovers was probably the worst it got. I had three in 18 months all on the right knee, which was a real tough time.

“Initially I did my ACL when I was 19 at Peterborough. That was tough, I was out for about 11 months with that one. I think when you are young you think you are going to play forever and return to play. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into the recovery, a lot of lonely days and moments. I think players are now looked after a lot better than 25 years ago.

“Later on in my career I was better at dealing with it but the long term ones I had at Bristol Rovers were really tough.

“I think you need an unbelievable support network to handle it, which I'm lucky I had. Having been with Bethan that long she has been through every high and low going.

“I think at Bristol Rovers I was in a brace near a CPM machine all day, gradually moving my leg up and down. Bethan was eight months pregnant with Holly and James was two, so it was unbelievably hard for her because I couldn’t walk around and be much help.

“You need extra support, but also you need support for the person that’s supporting you, as well. That’s probably the toughest it’s ever been. That Bristol Rovers period with a young family, and I couldn’t really help them.

“You try and be as resilient as you can, I think having good friends to speak to and people to take advice from is important. The worst thing you can do is just sit there depressed. That was tough going.

“You also feel you're letting the manager down. Paul Buck is a friend of mine and was manager of Bristol Rovers. I had a lot of injuries, and he unfortunately lost his job during the first rehab.

“You feel a huge amount of guilt with that. You feel responsible, I was captain at that point. There’s lots of stuff going into it, I’ve always been pretty resilient knowing in football there’s always good times round the corner.

“You get beat on Saturday; you know there’s another game coming up. I’ve always enjoyed the tough times in a weird way. It sounds strange, but you know there’s better times to come.

“You almost use it as fuel as it is just around the corner. That may be work, or just getting through that bad period, you become stronger for it.”

Do you think the spells you had out with injuries influenced your decision to start your coaching badges early? In that period did you reflect at all on what your future would be after playing?

“A little bit. I think most players between 28 and 30 start to think that way, you notice that your contracts become shorter. The first summer at Exeter I actually did a tennis coaching qualification, my brother’s a tennis coach and I felt I could go down that path.

“Dropping out of the league is a bit of a warning sign to look at what do you want to do in the future. That was the initial one, then I had had some successes and also promotions with Norwich. The period at Norwich at the 28-30 age really made me think about the coaching pathway.

“I did my qualifications and continued to do them while at Bristol Rovers and then Tranmere, my last club. So injuries played a part, but so did my age.

“I’ve always wanted to be part of football and have loved every minute of it. Any opportunity to carry on with it was great. I think initially it was to purely help other players, but we spoke a lot about my experiences, good and bad. I felt I could help.

“The players I had in my first role were an under-15 team which I helped out with. I loved that. I saw myself being a development coach for a very long time. I worked the under-18s job at Norwich and then got the lead position with the under-23s. It’s a brilliant role to have,

“They’re professional for starters and desperate to go and play with the first team regularly. I felt I had loads of experience with stuff that could help them with that.

“Still now I think that’s the way I approach coaching the first team. The gaffer is desperate to improve everyone. That’s all we’re trying to do is improve the team and individuals all the time.

“All the experiences we’ve had have shaped the way we are as coaches and the gaffer is as the head coach now.”


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News from the Swans Foundation

Photograph of the Lee Trundle at the Cwtch Coffee Morning


Swansea City club ambassador Lee Trundle recently joined Swansea City AFC Foundation’s Cwtch Coffee Morning at the Stadium.

Cwtch Coffee Mornings are weekly social drop-in sessions that give people the opportunity to socialise and enjoy a hot drink.

Former Swans striker Trundle came along to the session, taking the opportunity to pose for photos and answer questions from the participants.

“It was great to be a part of the session and see everyone coming together and socialising," said Trundle.

“It’s really important for the Foundation to give people the chance to socialise in a safe and warm environment and everyone seems to be really enjoying it.”

Caroline Gwilym, health and wellbeing officer for Swansea CIty AFC Foundation added: “It was a joy to see everyone bonding and enjoying themselves at the coffee morning, some making new connections and some reconnecting with old friends.

“There was real excitement with the arrival of Lee Trundle and there were some great questions put to him, and lots of laughter.

“It is heartening to see the benefit people are experiencing already by coming along for a cuppa and a chat every Tuesday morning.”

To find out more and register your interest in the Cwtch Coffee Mornings, tap the button below

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Lee Trundle visits Norman



Swansea City club ambassador Lee Trundle surprised life-long Swans fan and Age Cymru West Glamorgan service user Norman Chinnock by visiting his home before Christmas.

Norman is one of more than 4,000 elderly people across Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend who rely on the services provided by the charity.

These invaluable provisions range from finding funding to warm homes, providing meals, hosting people-centred support sessions and providing practical assistance for everyday challenges.

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing cost of living crisis, donations to Age Cymru West Glamorgan have dropped by 47 percent at a time when demands on the service are soaring. This could leave thousands of older people in the region left to choose between buying food or heating their homes this winter.

With the current funding not enough to enable them to respond to the unprecedented number of calls and requests for support, Age Cymru West Glamorgan is launching its first-ever emergency appeal.

As little as £30 could help provide specialist support to someone living with dementia.

You can find out how to support Age Cymru West Glamorgan by tapping the button below

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Norman has been going through a difficult time and recently had his leg amputated, but he was delighted to meet Trundle and receive a shirt signed by the current Swansea City squad, as well as a warm pack donated by Swansea City AFC Foundation.

“He’s been through a tough time but it was great to sit with Norman and have a chat about The Vetch, and some of his memories of supporting the football club, and he’s been a long-time supporter of the Swans,” said Trundle.

“Everyone is struggling at the moment, but for donations to drop by almost 50 percent, that’s a massive hit for this charity.

“You’ve got older people who are having to make a decision between feeding themselves or putting the heating on. That shouldn’t be happening.

“We are looking for as many donations as possible, that's going to help people in the local area.”

There will be a bucket collection for Age Cymru West Glamorgan at today’s Swansea City match against Burnley for any supporters who would like to donate. 

If you know an older person who may need support this winter, please get in touch with Swansea City AFC Foundation by emailing

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Stilettos and Studs

Happy New Year one and all. I trust you had a good introduction to 2023 and that if you celebrated, the celebrations were safe and suitably spectacular.

I am writing this column way ahead of the dawning of 2023, in fact, I’m so far ahead of myself I’m in real danger of meeting myself coming backwards. Such are the joys of early deadlines!

My cut off was midday on the eve of Christmas Eve, December 23. We are just over a week from the transfer window opening and no doubt by the time this is published there will already have been plenty of rumour and speculation about which players are coming and going.

I always find this time of year unsettling.  I’m not a fan of the New Year celebrations and while I consider it a blessing to have the chance to witness another new start, I do find goodbyes difficult.

I’m not about to get melancholy, don’t panic, but when I was thinking about what I was going to focus on for this column, I struggled to come up with something different. It would be easy to trot out more platitudes and of course my hope for us as a club is that we find form and make a real run of securing at least a play-off place come May.

But as this is the season for looking back and being grateful as well as forward with hope and renewed optimism, I’m giving a mention to a former player, who is turning out for the opposition today. It was the number 23 that did it. The references to 2023 and 23rd of December kept pulling my mind back to our number 23 from not so very long ago.

League leaders (they were when I wrote this) Burnley, are in town today and of course that means a return to his old stomping ground for our former number 23, Connor Roberts.

If you’re a regular reader of this column you will know that young Roberts is a favourite of mine and, like many of you, I was so disappointed to learn of his move to the Clarets. That’s the thing with homegrown talent, particularly those who clearly love the club they play for, the club that in Roberts’ case he supported growing up.

Those are the players who really get under your skin as a fan and whose progress you watch from afar, even when they play for another side. It helps that Roberts also turns out for our country and I’m sure we were all proud of the contribution he made in the World Cup.

The boy is back today, but in the colours of his Burnley team.  I have no doubt that he’ll get a warm welcome on his return and many of us will take a few moments to reflect on the contribution he made to our club. I hope one day he does a Joe Allen and returns ‘home’, and, in the meantime, it’s a great opportunity to offer our thanks to everyone involved in the Swansea City academy set-up for the commendable work they have done over the years in producing the likes of Roberts for club and country.


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Jack the Lad Title


First of all, a personal thank you to the fixture schedulers for not dragging me out of bed on New Year’s Day.

In my younger days, I liked nothing better than to blow away the cobwebs of a Hogmanay hangover with a trip to the football.

But as I get older, it takes me at least 24 hours to get over the excesses of the night before.

So, I’m extremely grateful for the extra day to recuperate and acclimatise to life in 2023.

Another reason to be cheerful is the fact we’re at home, especially as we entertained Watford just a few days ago.

Long journeys over the festive period can produce their own unique challenges and with a variety of transport strikes to negotiate at the moment, it’s definitely a case of home sweet home.

Talking of challenges, today’s visitors will certainly provide the Swans with a testing start to the New Year.

The Clarets arrive in South Wales riding high in the Championship table with their eyes firmly fixed on a return to the Premier League.

The Swans, of course, have already had a taste of Burnley’s determination to ascend to the top-flight during the 4-0 reverse at Turf Moor in October.

But what better way for the Swans to remind the division of their own ambitions than by kicking off the New Year with a win over the promotion favourites?.

Handily placed just outside the play-off places, three points today would provide a massive boost to players and fans alike.

Starting the year with a win has proved to be a confidence boosting omen in the past.

Since I started supporting the club back in 1978, we've enjoyed a number of memorable successes over the turn of the year.

In fact, that first year of supporting the Swans started in perfect style either side of New Year's Day.

New Year's Eve 1977 saw the boys make the long trek north to take on Hartlepool United.

The journey was certainly well worth it as they saw in the New Year having trounced the home side 4-0.

And things got even better a couple of days later on January 2 when the Swans overcame Wimbledon 3-0 at the Vetch.

The season would end with the Swans claiming their first promotion during their famous rise from the Fourth Division to the First Division under player-manager John Toshack, who had taken over in March.

John Toshack, Player Manager, Swansea City


Undoubtedly my favourite New Year result came just a couple of years later when the Swans recorded one of the most celebrated league results they had enjoyed up to that date.

The events of New Year's Day 1980 were immortalised in song to the tune of Hark the Herald Angels Sing and celebrated for many years to come.

The Swans, who had beaten Preston 1-0 at the Vetch on December 29, welcomed in the new decade with a memorable 2-1 home win over local rivals Cardiff City in front of a bumper crowd of 21,400.

Just to make the victory that little bit sweeter, it was sealed by former Cardiff City players John Toshack and David Giles, the latter having only recently joined from Wrexham.

Giles' late winner ensured there were more than a few extra hangovers to be nursed in Swansea on January 2 that year. What a fantastic way to start the ‘80s!

We may not have gained promotion at the end of that season, but we all know where the Swans were headed by the end of the following campaign.

The club's biggest-ever win on January 1 came on the first day of 1991, when they thrashed Rotherham 5-0 at the Vetch thanks to a double strike from Andy Legg and further goals from Jimmy Gilligan, Terry Connor and David D'Auria.

Photograph of Andy Legg


In 2011, the Swans kicked off what would turn out to be a historic year when they beat Reading on New Year’s Day.

A Darren Pratley goal just after the hour and some brilliant saves by Dorus de Vries saw the Swans claim a 1-0 win which pushed them up into second place in the Championship - their highest league position for 27 years.

Of course, what followed in the remainder of 2011 will go down in Swans folklore as the club gained promotion into the Premier League by beating Reading again in the play-off final at Wembley.

And the club celebrated their first New Year’s back in the top-flight with a 2-0 win at Aston Villa on January 2, 2012.

Photograph of Nathan Dyer dribbling Past an Aston Villa Player


The victory was the first three points earned on the road since their promotion to the Premier League.

The success, which lifted the Swans to 11th in the table, was secured thanks to goals from Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge.

Five years later, the Swans achieved another notable away win in the earliest days of 2017 when they beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park on January 3.

With Alan Curtis in the dugout and Paul Clement watching from first the stands and then the touchline, the away side hauled themselves off the foot of the Premier League table thanks to an unforgettable 88th minute winner from fans’ favourite Angel Rangel – his first strike of the season.

Photograph of Angel Rangel celebrating the winning goal at Crystal Palace


The victory sparked a Swansea revival which saw them eventually secure Premier League status for another season.

By 2019 we were back in the Championship, but celebrated the first day of the year with a thumping 4-1 win at Reading, courtesy of an Oli McBurnie double, along with strikes from Connor Roberts and Mike van der Hoorn.

Both 2020 and 2021 also started with wins over Charlton Athletic and Watford in the first matches of the respective New Years too.

So, Burnley beware, you may be arriving here on the crest of a wave, but the Swans do like to celebrate the New Year in style.

C'mon you Swans!

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Erthyglau Cymraeg

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda! A bydd Russell Martin yn gobeithio na fydd Michael Obafemi'n cael blwyddyn newydd rhy dda heddiw yn erbyn Burnley, y clwb geisiodd ei ddenu deirgwaith o Stadiwm dros yr haf. Pa well ffenest siop nag yma yn erbyn yr union glwb hwnnw i ddangos pam ei fod e'n haeddu ei gyfle gyda chlwb dreuliodd nifer o'r blynyddoedd diwethaf yn yr Uwch Gynghrair?

Ond ar yr un pryd, mae Martin wedi herio'r ymosodwr i wneud yn well, gan ddweud yn ei gynhadledd i'r wasg cyn y Nadolig nad yw e "wedi gwneud yn ddigon da" i'r clwb y tymor hwn. Dim ond dair gwaith roedd e wedi rhwydo yn ei 19 gêm cyn y Nadolig, ac roedd Martin yn sôn fod y diddordeb o du Burnley wedi cael effaith ar y chwaraewr 22 oed.

Daeth ei gyfnod gorau gyda'r clwb hyd yn hyn ar ddiwedd y tymor diwethaf, wrth iddo fe brofi gwerth ei ffi o fwy na £1.5m drwy rwydo 11 o weithiau mewn tri mis. Oes gobaith y gallai perfformiad da yn erbyn Burnley adfywio'u diddordeb ynddo fe? Yn ôl y rheolwr, dyw'r chwaraewr ddim wedi gwneud yn ddigon da.

Wrth ysgrifennu'r golofn hon, mae amheuon am ei ffitrwydd ar gyfer y gêm yn erbyn Reading. Fe wnaeth e anafu llinyn y gâr wrth chwarae dros Weriniaeth Iwerddon fis Tachwedd. Ond yr awgrym yw fod ei drafferthion yn rhai meddyliol yn ogystal â chorfforol, ond bydd yr Elyrch yn gobeithio y gall e ganolbwyntio ar ei bêl-droed pan fydd y ffenest drosglwyddo'n dechrau gwichian.

Un sy'n debygol o adael, serch hynny, yw'r cefnwr Ryan Manning ar ôl gwrthod cytundeb newydd. Mae Russell Martin o'r farn na fydd y trafodaethau'n para lawer hirach, felly os nad yw'r Gwyddel yn gadael cyn diwedd y mis yna mae e bron iawn yn sicr o adael yn yr haf. Ond mae newyddion ychydig yn well am Joel Latibeaudiere, wrth i'r clwb ddal i obeithio bod modd dod i gytundeb i sicrhau ei fod e'n aros ac yntau'n gallu llenwi sawl safle yn y cefn.

Mae'n debyg fod y trafodaethau gyda'r perchnogion wedi hen ddechrau erbyn hyn, wrth i'r rheolwr ddweud ei fod e eisiau denu asgellwyr a chwaraewyr llydan yn dilyn ymadawiadau Cyrus Christie a Hannes Wolf, gyda'r Elyrch yn dal i geisio llenwi ambell fwlch.

Gyda'r Elyrch ychydig islaw'r safleoedd dyrchafiad, ar y cae ac oddi arno mae mis Ionawr yn argoeli i fod yn fis mawr cyn y Mis Bach.



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Match Report.
Swansea City rounded off 2022 by returning to winning ways as goals from Joel Piroe, Liam Cullen and Joel Latibeaudiere completed a league double over Watford at the Stadium.

Swansea City: Steven Benda; Joel Latibeaudiere, Ben Cabango, Harry Darling, Ryan Manning; Jay Fulton, Matt Grimes (captain); Luke Cundle (Olivier Ntcham 66), Joel Piroe, Ollie Cooper; Liam Cullen (Joe Allen 77).

Unused Substitutes: Andy Fisher, Nathan Wood, Kyle Naughton, Matty Sorinola, Cameron Congreve.

Watford: Daniel Bachmann, Jeremy Ngakia, Mario Gaspar, William Troost-Ekong, Keinan Davis, Craig Cathcart (captain) (Samuel Kalu 61), Yaser Asprilla (Vakoun Bayo 61), Ismaila Sarr, Tom Dele-Bashiru (James Morris 70), Leandro Bacuna, Christian Kabasele.

Unused Substitutes: Ben Hamer, Francisco Sierralta, Joe Hungbo, Adrian Blake.

Referee: John Busby

Attendance: 17,339


Wales Squad featuring Cliff Jones
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Cult Heroes


When your father Ivor played professional football for Swansea and Wales, your uncle Bryn played for Arsenal and Wales amongst others, and your brother also played for the Swans, then it would almost seem pre-ordained that Cliff Jones would be a footballer.

Indeed, the young Jones was something of a schoolboy footballing prodigy, being selected for the Swansea Schoolboy side at just 12 years old.

He would go on to be captain of the schoolboy side that won the prestigious English Schools Shield when defeating Manchester Schools 2-1 over two legs, and also represented his country at youth level.

Upon leaving school, the Sandfields product joined the Vetch Field staff in 1950, though on the advice of his father he also took up an apprenticeship as a sheet metal worker at the Prince of Wales Dock in case his football career did not work out.

He began his time at the club playing in the Colts side, then progressing on to the Welsh League and Combination sides, before - at the tender age of 17 - he made his first-team debut in a 3-1 win away at Bury in October 1952.

He would only play in three first-team games during that season, but he would score his first goal in professional football in a game against Leeds United in the April.

This introduction to professional football was just what the young Jones had dreamed of, and the following season he would become a regular name on the team sheet, playing in a Swansea side that was packed with young exciting talent in Ivor Allchurch, Mel Charles and Terry Medwin to name but a few.


Photograph of Cliff Jones


As Jones’ career progressed, it was his blistering pace that caught the imagination of supporters, while his ability and bravery in the air brought him a high percentage of his goals. These qualities marked him out as a real star of the future.

His progress was noted by the Welsh national management, and at just 19 he made his international debut away in Austria in a 2-0 defeat. It would be the first of 59 caps the player would earn in an illustrious career.

Consistent performances over the next five seasons at the Vetch Field saw the club having to fend off interest from England's top clubs on a regular basis, before his obligatory National Service saw him spend 18 months away from the Swans.

With all the attention focused on the player, it came as no surprise when he put in a transfer request during the 1956-57 season. This was rejected by the board at the time but, with the forward understandably having ambitions to play at the highest level possible, it would be a matter of time before the club would cash in on another of its prized assets.

The moment inevitably came in February 1958 after a frantic bidding war involving Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United ended with Spurs getting their man for a fee of £35,000; a British transfer record which saw Jones link up with another former Swan in Medwin.

Later that year, Jones would be part of the Wales squad that reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Sweden, and he would go on to enjoy great success with Tottenham after the tournament.

Under the guidance of manager Bill Nicholson, Jones would win a First Division title, three FA Cups and a European Cup Winners’ Cup during his time at White Hart Lane.

Jones would have a spell with Fulham before moving into non-league ahead of hanging up his boots in 1971.

In 1998 he would be voted one of the 100 Football League Legends, while he is also in the Tottenham hall of fame, and is represented on Swansea City’s wall of fame at the Stadium.

Not bad for a boy from the Sandfields who learnt his trade at the Vetch Field.

Celtic Couriers
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An update on the Swans Academy

Launched 63 years ago by Tom Bravin, Mr X aims to provide children from low-income or underprivileged backgrounds in south Wales with gifts to open on Christmas Day.  

Bravin passed away six years ago, but his legacy through Mr X is now carried on by his son and a team of incredible volunteers.

The Swans academy players - from the under-18 and under-21 age groups - wanted to play their part and bought and donated presents that went to children who are less fortunate this Christmas. 

Swans Academy Donate to the Mr X appeal


Volunteers across south Wales organised the donation and collection of gifts for more than 7,000 disadvantaged children. 

Academy chaplain Eirian Wyn led the donation process at Landore Training Ground, and has assisted with the appeal with the academy for the last seven years.

Thousands of gifts donated to the Mr X appeal were distributed to families this Christmas 

"I've been involved with the campaign for 20 years now, and it's been a privilege every year to provide children and families with gifts,” said a spokesperson for the Mr X Appeal.

"Before Mr X died, we started helping out and we're a small team, but we've been involved ever since.

"A huge thank you to everyone at Swansea City for donating presents to us, their presents will no doubt have put smiles on children's faces this Christmas."



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Junior Jacks Quiz


It’s the first match of 2023 and we’re looking forward to another excellent year of following the Swans.

We had a nice New Year’s day but we were both thinking about today’s game. We think it will be 2-1 to the Swans with goals for Joel Piroe and Ollie Cooper for the Swans. Connor Roberts will score for Burnley.

We’ve created a football quiz for you below.

 Up the Swans!

 Cyril and Cybil

Animal Quiz



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Photograph of Carwyn


Photograph of Thomas


Photograph of William


Photograph of Logan


Photograph of Jack


Photograph of OLIVER


Photograph of Kai



Photograph of DEXTER



Photograph of SAMUEL



Photograph of FRANKY





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Matt Grimes sponsored by Owens


Ben Cabango sponsored by Happy Home Furnishers


Harry Darling sponsored by GCS


Jamie Paterson sponsored by Infinity Document Solutions


Joe Allen sponsored by Travel House


Joël Piroe sponsored by Ammcom


Ryan Manning sponsored by Davies Chemists Ltd.


Michael Obafemi sponsored by Janela Shutters


Nathan Wood sponsored by Eaton's


Olivier Ntcham sponsored by AWS


Armstrong Oko-Flex sponsored by Secure IT VPN


Jay Fulton sponsored by Jones Brothers


Ollie Cooper sponsored by Amroc


Steven Benda sponsored by Woodpecker Garden Buildings
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Radio City 1386AM


An audio commentary service is available for blind and partially sighted fans – provided by Radio City, the Swansea University Health Board Hospital Radio Service.

Radio City has a long association with the football club dating back to the days when the club was known as Swansea Town.

Since moving to the Stadium, the broadcaster has provided a live descriptive commentary service for free at all Swansea home matches, meaning that blind and partially-sighted supporters in both the home and away ends can follow the action.

In order to book a headset for the match, supporters can contact the accessibility team in advance by emailing, or contacting the ticket office from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm by calling 01792 616629 and selecting option one.

Supporters can also book headsets in person in advance at the ticket office, or on the day by speaking to a Disability Liaison Steward on the day.

To learn more about Radio City, visit To learn more about accessible facilities at the stadium, please click here.

Swansea City Inclusion Room

The inclusion room at the Stadium is open every matchday for supporters who may require a quiet space during games.

Supporters will be able to attend live matches at the Stadium with the comfort of knowing there is a designated area should they need it. The room is available to any supporter that may require a quiet space.

The space will be monitored by a designated disability liaison steward and provides a safe space with a disabled toilet, a projector to watch the live game, and dignity packs for those who need it.

While some supporters who require a time away from the crowds may prefer to use this room as a quiet space, it will also be possible to watch the match live on a screen projected onto the wall meaning supporters who require the space for any reason don’t have to miss a moment of the match action.

The room is located in the West Stand and, while supporters who feel they may benefit from the use of the space will be recommended to sit in that stand, it will be accessible for anyone in any part of the stadium.

Any supporter who feels overwhelmed by the matchday environment for any reason can gain access to the room by making themselves known to a steward or disability liaison steward.


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Swansea City AFC Badge

Chief Executive - Julian Winter

Honorary Club President - Alan Curtis MBE


Jason Levien, Julian Winter, Jake Silverstein, Sam Porter, Huw Jenkins, Martin Morgan, Sian Davies (supporter director), Romie Chaudhari, Bobby Hernreich, Gareth Davies.

Director of Business and Legal Affairs: Sam Porter

Associate Directors: Ceri Stone


First-Team Staff

Head Coach – Russell Martin

Assistant Head Coach - Matt Gill

Goalkeeping Coach – Dean Thornton

Head of Physical Performance – Matt Willmott

First Team Performance Analyst - Ben Parker

Set Piece Coach - Andy Parslow

First Team Coach - Kris O'Leary

Head of Performance – Tom Barnden

Head of Rehabilitation – Rhys Owen

Head of Medical - Dr Jez McCluskey

Staff: Ailsa Jones, Bethany Chaddock, Matt Murray, Michael Eames, Shaun Baggridge, Connor Lawley, Daniel Nisbet.


Senior Management Group
Andrew Davies (Head of Operations, Facilities & Development);
Gareth Davies (CFO);
James Chiffi (Head of Wellbeing & Development);
Josh Marsh (Head of Football Operations).

Club Staff
Club Secretary: Ben Greenwood
Football Operations &
Administration Manager: Rebecca Gigg
Head of Retail: Andrea Morris
Head of Hospitality & Customer Services: Catherine Thomas
Head of Safeguarding: Rebeca Storer
HR Manager: Nicola Butt
Senior Commercial Sponsorship Manager:  Lee Merrells
Head of Marketing:
Katie Doyle
Head of Media & Communications:
Ben Donovan
Ticket Office Manager: Lewis Bullen
Operations & Events Manager:
Matthew Daniel
Facilities Manager: Gordon David
Grounds Manager: Evan Davies
Disability Access Officer: Catherine Thomas
Swansea City AFC Foundation Manager: Paul France
Club Ambassador: Lee Trundle


Programme Production
Contributors: Ben Donovan, Andrew Gwilym, Sophie Davis, Hayley Ford, Fraser Dickson, Rachael Tucker, Cerith White, Rhys Kemish, Richard Bond, Dom Hynes, Julie Kissick, Gwyn Rees, Owen Morgan, Alun Rhys Chivers.

Designers: Callum Rothwell,
Jordan Morcom, Lewis Ward

Photography: Athena Picture Agency,
Natalie John-Davis, Alamy

Swans Squad

Head Coach Russell Martin

1 Andrew Fisher 

3 Ryan Manning 

4 Jay Fulton 

5 Ben Cabango 

6 Harry Darling 

7 Joe Allen 

8 Matt Grimes ©

9 Michael Obafemi 

10 Olivier Ntcham 

12 Jamie Paterson 

13 Steven Benda 

15 Nathanael Ogbeta 

16 Brandon Cooper 

17 Joël Piroe 

18 Luke Cundle

19 Tivonge Rushesha 

20 Liam Cullen 

21 Armstrong Oko-Flex

22 Joel Latibeaudiere 

23 Nathan Wood 

26 Kyle Naughton 

28 Liam Walsh 

29 Matty Sorinola 

31 Ollie Cooper 

33 Wasiri Williams 

35 Lincoln Mcfayden 

36 Ben Lloyd 

41 Jordon Garrick 

45 Cameron Congreve 

47 Azeem Abdulai 

48 Joel Cotterill

Burnley Squad

Manager Vincent Kompany

2 Matthew Lowton

3 Charlie Taylor

4 Jack Cork ©

5 Taylor-Harwood-Bellis

6 CJ Egan-Riley

7 Johann Gudmundsson

8 Josh Brownhill

9 Jay Rodriguez

10 Ashley Barnes

11 Scott Twine

14 Connor Roberts

15 Bailey Peacock-Farrell

17 Manuel Benson

18 Ashley Westwood

19 Anass Zaroury

20 Denis Franchi

21 Luke McNally

22 Vitinho

23 Nathan Tella

24 Josh Cullen

25 Will Norris

26 Samuel Bastien

27 Darko Churlinov

28 Kevin Long

29 Ian Maatsen

30 Halil Dervisoglu

36 Jordan Beyer

44 Dara Costelloe

49 Arijanet Muric

Match Officials

Referee - Oliver Langford

Assistant Referee 1 - Jonathan Hunt

Assistant Referee 2 - Lee Venamore

Fourth Official - Sam Allison