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Hull City
Saturday 25th November 2023
Joma

 

Andy Coleman Notes

Coleman Image

Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to the Swansea.com Stadium for the visit of Hull City.

Today sees Championship football return to SA1 for the first time in three weeks following our trip to Ipswich, and last weekend’s international break.

However, the Swansea.com Stadium hosted a fantastic game during that break as Swansea City Women beat Wrexham 2-1 last Sunday in front of a record crowd.

Women's Team Celebrating

The 3,859 in attendance was nearly treble our previous record attendance at a women’s team home game, and a fine way to celebrate their move to semi-professional status over the summer.

Their fantastic performance in front of so many young supporters will also hopefully serve as inspiration to the next generation of footballers in our community and in the wider south-west Wales region.

As I mentioned in my most recent update to supporters, it was an important early step in our long-term commitment to ensuring that as a club we raise awareness and the profile of the women’s game.

Last Friday (November 17) I joined Matthew’s House and the Swansea City AFC Foundation in spending the night outdoors for the Big Sleep Out.

Sleeping out for one night is no comparison to the reality of homelessness, but the Big Sleep Out gave everyone involved the opportunity to broaden their horizons on what it is like to be without a home for the night.

It’s heartbreaking on one hand because it brings home the challenges and difficulties being faced by people in our city and community.

But it is inspiring to see the work folks are doing to raise awareness of homelessness. It’s far too often that issues are just glossed over, so every new set of eyes that becomes aware of these issues in our community helps boost the real work being done by Matthew’s House and the Foundation. It makes me so proud of this football club and this community.

Thanks to the fundraising efforts of those who took part in the event, and everyone who donated, a massive £23,980 has already been raised which is absolutely amazing.

You can still donate if you wish to do so here.

That is testament to the spirit within our community, and again underlines the passion you all have for Swansea and for our football club.

Enjoy the game,

Andy

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A note from Michael Duff

Photograph of Michael Duff

Good afternoon and welcome back to the Swansea.com Stadium for our Championship fixture against Hull City.

We return home looking to get back to winning ways after a frustrating defeat at Ipswich Town before the international break.

We started and finished the game well at Portman Road, and were pushing for an equaliser in the final moments despite playing with 10 men.

There was no questioning the attitude of the players, but ultimately we did pay for some costly errors, which were uncharacteristic of us when you look at many of our recent performances.

The international break was challenging with players out injured and a number away with their countries, but we put plenty of hard work in to prepare ourselves for this game, which starts a hectic period with a busy festive schedule fast approaching and no further international break until late March.

We face a Hull side who are 12 months in to working with Liam Rosenior, and I think you can see the developments they have made under him.

Liam is a good guy and a good manager who has a clear idea of how he wants to play and sticks to it.

He was the same at Derby when I faced him early last season, he has done a good job. He is one of the good people in football.

It will be a game between two possession-based team, but for us it is about having that balance in our play where we have purpose in possession. We will want to hurt them with the ball and in our press, and they will want to do the same to us.

I would also like to take the opportunity to congratulate Swansea City Women on their success against Wrexham here at the Swansea.com Stadium during our international break.

It was fantastic to see a record crowd in attendance for a women’s fixture. It was a great occasion and I know it represents just the start of a long-term commitment to increasing opportunities and raising standards in girls and women’s football across south-west Wales.

Enjoy the game,

Michael

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Welcome back to the Swansea.com Stadium for our game against Hull City. It’s been a long three weeks since the team last played here, in what was a raucous atmosphere for our hard-earned point against Sunderland.

Despite some very poor officiating, the boys left everything out there on the field and the crowd gave it back in kind. Hopefully we can see more of that against the Tigers and through December, when the schedule gets heavy and the noise from the crowd will be a shot in the arm for what will undoubtedly be a busy run of fixtures.

Despite the international break, the Swansea.com Stadium was still in use with Swansea City Women making their first appearance at the stadium since going semi-professional. A brilliant performance saw them come out 2-1 winners against a good Wrexham team.

The attendance record for a women’s game at the stadium was smashed, and the players responded with an excellent performance that leaves them firmly among the league leaders.

We have seen the growth and potential of the women’s game internationally, and we look forward to supporting this growth for the Swans Women’s team in whichever way we can. We can’t wait to see them back at the stadium in the future as the club works towards the long-term aim of improving opportunities and standards in girls and women’s football.

The work of the Trust didn’t stop during the international window either, and we continue to go through the almost 1,000 responses to our Matchday Experience Survey. We have been working with the club on analysing the results and hope to be able to present the key findings and recommendations to supporters in the near future.

We were also delighted to welcome Ken Gude, Swansea City’s chief of staff and head of strategy, to a virtual Q&A with our members on Tuesday night.

Ken talked directly to our members about his role at the club, what he hopes to deliver, and answered questions directly from our members on plans to improve commercial opportunities, expanding the club’s contact with our Global Jacks, the appointment of Gavin Levey as academy manager, the catering facilities, and much more. We will be releasing some notes of the meeting to all supporters in the coming days.

If you would like to join these types of events in the future, you can do so by joining the Trust. It takes less than five minutes to do by clicking the link HERE.

During the break, the Swansea City AFC Foundation also hosted their #SwansBigSleepOut to raise awareness and much needed funds for Matthew’s House, a charity aimed at supporting the most vulnerable people in our community.

Trust Sleepout

The event was meticulously planned by the Foundation team, led by Paul France, and the event has smashed its original fundraising target of £15,000, with the total raised now at over £25,000.

I’d also like to give a shout out to Trust chair Dave Dalton, and Trust board member Cath Dyer, who were two of the 70 people who took part in the Sleep Out. They raised significant funds, and I know both came away with a new understanding of the challenges people struggling with homelessness face every day.

There is still time to donate by clicking the link HERE.

As a Trust, we believe we have a role to play in uplifting our community and are always looking at ways to raise awareness and funds, as well as making targeted contributions to vital causes in our city, which we keep under constant review. If you think there’s something worthwhile we should be aware of, please reach out to us.

Our opponents, Hull City, are off to a decent start this season, and currently sit seven points above us in the table. Like us, their form recently has been mixed, but I’m sure they’ll be fighting hard to take the points today. Personally, I am still mad that Kingston upon Hull beat Swansea to the glamorous title of ‘City of Culture’ back in 2017, so hopefully we can right that wrong today with three important points.

Enjoy the game, stay warm, and shout loud.

Adam

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Foundation Title Card

Sleep Out

Participants of Swansea City AFC Foundation’s Swans Big Sleep Out have completed one night of sleeping rough to help raise crucial funds for Matthew’s House.

A group of 70 gathered at the Swansea.com Stadium on Friday November 17 to embark on a challenge which many people in our community face every night of the year.

Sleeping out for one night is no comparison to the reality of homelessness, but the Swans Big Sleep Out gave people the opportunity to broaden their horizons on what it is like to be without a home for the night.

During the evening, participants also gained a greater understanding of some of the causes of homelessness, as well as finding out about the vital work Matthew’s House carry out supporting our community.

Thanks to the fundraising efforts of those who took part in the event, and everyone who donated, a massive £23,980 has already been raised.

The money will aid Matthew’s House in their community work, as well as underpinning a new Foundation programme, which will aid people and families affected by addiction, one of the main causes of homelessness.

You can still donate here up until the end of November, with every penny counting, particularly at a time of year where the weather is colder and the nights longer.

Head of Swansea City AFC Foundation, Paul France, was proud of the efforts of everyone who took part.

“I am unbelievably proud of everybody,” he said.

“They showed great resilience. The weather was extreme, the conditions the Met Office predicted with their yellow weather warning arrived.

“It was horrendous and underlined the harsh realities of homelessness, but it’s so uplifting to see that everyone stuck it out.

“We had set a fundraising target of £15,000, which we thought was a challenging target initially, but this morning we’re at £23,980. The donation link is going to be open for the next two weeks, so there is still an opportunity to support the event. The people who slept out last night deserve it.

“We can go home and have a warm shower and get into our beds, but people who are homeless have to sleep out again, they don’t get that opportunity, which is really tough and underlines why this event and the money it raises is so important.”

Swansea City chairman Andy Coleman also braved the elements to complete the Swans Big Sleep Out, and show his support for Matthew’s House and the Foundation.

“It’s absolutely amazing to see the work the Foundation and Matthew’s House are doing, particularly on a cold, wet, windy night,” he said.

“To see so many people getting their fingernails dirty and investing their own personal time to raise awareness for this issue is absolutely incredible. It’s another example of what makes me so proud of this football club.

“The Foundation’s work is critically important. I think the Foundation represents what is best about this club, all the work they do so successfully in this community, it makes me really proud to be here.

“It’s heartbreaking on one hand because it brings home the challenges and difficulties being faced by people in our city and community.

“But it is inspiring to see the work folks are doing to raise awareness for homelessness. It’s far too often that issues are just glossed over, so every new set of eyes that becomes aware of these issues in our community helps boost the real work being done by Matthew’s House and the Foundation.”

Thom Lynch, leadership team and project manager at Matthew’s House, added: “It’s been phenomenal, just learning about people’s stories.

“The funds we’ve raised will impact us and make such a significant difference to Matthew’s House.

“There’s new supporters, new friends, new people. There were people here that we’ve helped and people that we may need to help in the future.

“We’re here to provide that support, we’ll try our best, that’s what we’re here to do.

“It’s great to know the club love what we do, and are passionate to get involved and support us in fighting homelessness and all that comes with that.

“There’s no case of one size fits all with homelessness. It can be anything that causes people to end up on the streets. Issues like broken relationships, addiction, mental health struggles, a health condition that forces people to lose their job; it could be anything.

“I think it will always be there, that’s the sad thing about it. It needs people and communities to continue to come together. I’m blessed with friends and family so when I’ve needed someone they’re there, but that’s not the case for everyone.

“We have a big family of volunteers that are willing to listen, to be consistent, to be there and available no matter what goes on. We are here for those who need us.

“To see more than £23,000 has been raised for us and the Swans Foundation is brilliant.

“There’s been some incredible people and companies getting on board and sponsoring. It’s been a real team effort and people have really come together.“

The Foundation thanks Matthew’s House and all those involved in helping to deliver the Swans Big Sleep Out, and to everyone who participated in the event.

Maggie's

 

Curt x Maggie's

Alan Curtis knows better than most how important it is for men to check themselves and be aware of the symptoms and risks of prostate and testicular cancer, because his own diagnosis came completely out of the blue.

The Swansea City great had no idea what awaited him when he went to his local GP expecting to have his ear syringed a decade ago.

Within a few weeks, he was sitting down with his family to tell them he had cancer, and weighing up the treatment options available to him.

It was a head-spinning period for Curtis and his family and – with November being men’s health awareness month and the former striker being an ambassador for the club’s charity partner Maggie’s – he felt it was important to share his story in detail and encourage men to make sure they regularly check and educate themselves.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men in Wales and figures from Cancer Research UK show that one in eight men in Wales will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives.

And Curtis hopes raising awareness and encouraging men to regularly be mindful of the symptoms and the need to seek medical advice and attention should they have any concerns.

“My experience underlines the importance of being checked out, because there was nothing that was really worrying me. It was really the intervention of my GP that got me to get examined and then pursue the treatment,” he says.

“It was probably only once the whole thing had run its course that I realised how important it had been that it had been caught so soon. I was fortunate where a lot of people are not so fortunate.

“I would advise anybody, and I say it regularly to people I know and see, to get themselves checked out. If you have any kind of symptoms, or even if you have no symptoms but are of a certain age, then get yourself checked.

“It is so important and so vital, the earlier and quicker you get a diagnosis the better the chances of successful treatment."

Curtis - 1

Curtis himself had noticed he was starting to need to go to the bathroom more often during the night, and the sense that he had not been able to pass all the urine he needed to, but admits he had not been unduly alarmed.

“My diagnosis only happened because I had gone to see my doctor because I had a blockage in my ear and I wanted to clear it," he says.

“I made the appointment and saw my GP, he told me to come back later in the week to see a nurse and we had a chat about my general health.

“I felt fine but I mentioned there were a couple of things I mentioned like the fact I was going back and forth to the toilet in the night, and I had a slightly uncomfortable feeling that I had not fully emptied myself.

“We kept chatting, but he kept coming back to that and he asked if I had ever had a prostate exam. I told him I hadn’t and he felt it would be advisable for me to do so.

“It was one of those things where I expected him to tell me to go down to Singleton or Morriston for a blood test.

“Instead, without going into too much detail, he reached into a draw, pulled out a tub of gel and put some rubber gloves on. This was 10 minutes after I thought I was going in to have my ear syringed, instead I am having a prostate exam there and then.

“He could feel there was something that needed to be looked at, he did not want to panic me, it was more just saying what the next step would be.

“A couple of weeks later I went to Morriston to see a specialist and he did a biopsy. He took about 15 or 16 samples and when the results came back I think five or six of them were showing signs of cancer.

“That was a shock and I was referred up to Felindre to see an oncologist called Jason Lester. From there we decided which treatment we would pursue.”

Curtis admits the initial shock was hard to deal with, even though the prognosis was positive due to the disease being caught at an easy stage.

But the process of talking it through with his family, and with his oncologist, proved invaluable in terms of his mental health, and the former Wales international would encourage anyone to talk through the range of emotions that come with a cancer diagnosis.

Curt - 2

That experience would also lead Curtis to an unexpected realisation, when upon his first encounter with his oncologist he felt like he had previously met him.

“I know Clare mentioned when we launched the kit that I did not tell her immediately, I waited until after she had got home from a night out with friends,” says Curtis.

“I think part of that is saying the word ‘cancer’. It’s the Big C as they say, and that is what gets everyone, it can be daunting and terrifying.

“They stressed to me it was in the early stages and I was fairly secure in the knowledge that I had a good chance of being able to overcome it, even while knowing there would be difficult periods along the way.

“I went up to Felindre, the options were to leave it for six months – which I did not want to do as I wanted it dealt with immediately – to have radiotherapy; but the one we went for was called brachytherapy.

“That involves putting radioactive seeds into the prostate. The radioactivity fades over time, but it helps to treat the cancer.

“It sounded the best option, although it was only available to me because we had caught it early.

“My prostate specific antigen (PSA) level was about 10 or 12, so it was in the right realms for the treatment to be effective.

“I was nervous before I went in for the conversation but it was quite amazing that Jason, the oncologist, walked in and I immediately felt I knew him.

“It turned out he was a Swansea season-ticket holder and he used to sit behind the dugout. Before games I would wave to some of the people there, and I could never have known that one of those same people would play such a huge part in my life.

“It was great and we ended up spending the next 20 minutes talking out Michu, Wilfried Bony and Michael Laudrup and how things were going. In the end, Clare had to give me a nudge and say we needed to talk about the cancer and a treatment plan.

“From there it was a question of being tested every couple of months, then every six months and it is every 12 months now. My PSA reading has been around 0.1 for the last nine years, so touch wood that continues.”

While Curtis did not utilise the services of Maggie’s at the time, within 12 months he would agree to become an ambassador for their Swansea centre, which provides free support and guidance for anyone in our community who has faced a cancer journey.

Having witnessed first hand the incredible work Maggie’s do across a number of areas – from mental health to benefits support, as well as relaxation and coping techniques such as yoga and meditation, Curtis could not be more proud to be associated with the charity.

“I had been aware of Maggie’s but not in the level of detail where I knew everything that they offered,” recalls Curtis.

“It was Sarah Hughes, who was my nurse. She left the NHS to work for Maggie’s, and she got in touch with me about being an ambassador.

“I got invited down to Maggie’s, and it is a fantastic setup and a wonderful place. The work they do is incredible but they face challenges in terms of the finance to keep the place going.

“But the biggest thing for me was that the centre is a place that is there to help people in our area and our community.

“That was so important for me because the money being raised was to help people in the locality.

“They had a hard time during Covid but every time you go in there, there is a warm welcome, a smile and a nice cup of tea. They are so good at what they do.

“I used to go and meet up with a group on a Wednesday that was made up of men who had prostate cancer, and some of the readings were very high but everyone there got the support they needed from the group, they were positive and got strength from being in those sessions, knowing the issues they face or the troubles they have are being shared.

“I would recommend them to anyone. I only truly discovered Maggie’s after my treatment had ended but what they do is incredible.

“You do not have to be suffering from cancer yourself to use their services, it is there for friends and families, for carers.

“They had sessions for children there too, some of whom had sadly lost a parent. It’s a wonderful place and I am so proud to be playing a small part in their work.

“I would urge anyone to pluck up the courage to visit Maggie’s, because it does take courage to do it, it’s not easy.

“But it is such a warm and welcoming place. If it’s not for you, that is fine, but there are so many people who will tell you how brilliant it was for them.”

Curtis has been delighted to see two organisations he cares deeply about – Swansea City and Maggie’s – combine for the ‘Tackling Cancer Together’ campaign.

The initiative is centred around sharing stories and raising awareness of the struggles that come with a cancer diagnosis, and is tied in with our eye-catching third kit, which features a vibrant pink design complemented by the colours representing some of the most common types of cancer.

Curt - 3

Each sale of the jersey helps raise vital funds for Maggie’s, who rely on public fundraising efforts to keep the lights on and deliver their services; with the sum required set to be approximately £700,000 for 2024.

“I am so proud of the club,” he said.

“I always am, but I think the shirt and the campaign around it are brilliant and it’s so important for Maggie’s, because they rely on fundraising to help them do what they do.

“The shirt looks brilliant and I love seeing us wear it, and I hope it will help make people aware of Maggie’s and what they offer, and help raise funds for a charity which serves so many in our local community.”

To find out more about the #TacklingCancerTogether campaign and how you can donate to Maggie's, click here.

 

Fit JacksSwansea City AFC Foundation plans to deliver a significant expansion of its successful FIT Jacks programme throughout our city and local community, with the popular initiative having received a funding boost from Swansea Council through the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund.

Fit Jacks 2

The 12-week health and wellbeing programme – which started earlier this year - combines advice on steps towards a healthier lifestyle with free weekly fitness sessions, which are tailored to the requirements of the participants.

In addition to weight loss benefits, FIT Jacks has also provided invaluable support to attendees when it comes to their mental health and social inclusion.

Up to this point FIT Jacks sessions have been held at the Swansea.com Stadium, but the planned expansion will see the Foundation deliver the programme across five of Swansea Bay University Health Board’s GP cluster groups in Penderi, Cwmtawe, Llwchwr, City Health and Bay Health.

Referrals to the FIT Jacks programme will be offered in these areas, with people also being able to self-refer themselves onto the programme.

Additionally, the programme will be offered to local employers and businesses across the city. Workplaces will be approached to accommodate health testing events and workshops on health topics.

The funding boost – which has seen the FIT Jacks programme receive £315,770 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund – means it will now have a considerable outreach into the Swansea locality.

Caroline Gwilym, Swansea City AFC Foundation’s head of health and wellbeing, said: “As a result of the success we have already achieved helping and supporting people make positive lifestyle changes through our FIT Jacks programme, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to expand this provision and take the programme out into the community of Swansea.

“This is thanks to Swansea Council and funding from the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund. It means that we are able to work with the five GP clusters in Swansea, which will benefit so many more people.

“We are also in a position now to grow the health and wellbeing team at the Foundation to support the delivery on the ground, so this is a very exciting time for us.”

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, added: “Fitness, healthy eating and regular exercise are so important – not just for people’s physical wellbeing but for their mental wellbeing, too.

“This is why we’re delighted to be able to support Swansea City AFC Foundation’s FIT Jacks programme through the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund.

“It supports all the work the council does to encourage people to lead healthier lifestyles.”

Cllr Hayley Gwillam, Swansea Council’s cabinet member for community support, said: “This programme has been very successful since its launch earlier this year, and the funding means even more local people in communities throughout Swansea can benefit from it in future.

“Be it directly or by working with partners, the council does a huge amount to promote the benefits of healthy living to Swansea residents.

“The FIT Jacks programme will complement a wide variety of other services which are in place for local people.”

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Michael Duff

Michael Duff's long career in football has seen him overcome the odds on a number of occasions.

Here, the Swans boss reflects on playing in the top eight divisions of the English football pyramid, reveals the Welshman who gave him his most torrid experience on a football pitch, and which opposition manager received the most expensive bottle of wine he has ever bought.

Having climbed all the way through the divisions as a player, Michael Duff is hoping he can complete a similar journey as a coach with Swansea City, but the head coach readily admits his move into the dugout may not have materialised were it not for the uncertainty of one of the toughest periods of his life.

Duff - Burnley

Former defender Duff overcame the odds to climb from the eighth tier of English football all the way to the Premier League, playing in each division.

Over lengthy spells with Cheltenham and Burnley, the former defender racked up nearly 650 league appearances, won 24 caps for Northern Ireland and experienced six promotions in total.

As a coach he has risen from League Two to the Championship via Cheltenham and Barnsley.

But, prior to the first of his three promotions to the top-flight as a player with the Clarets, Duff had no desire to move into coaching, and readily admits he had not looked beyond life as a footballer, even though he was nearly 30.

However, a serious knee injury suffered in a Championship game against Crystal Palace in September 2007 completely altered Duff’s way of thinking.

“When that happened, I went through those thoughts of wondering would I be able to come back from it, and also wondering what I was going to do with my life if I couldn’t,” says Duff.

“I did everything in my knee. I did my lateral ligament, the hamstring tendon, my cruciate, I burst the knee capsule, so it was an absolute mess.

Photograph of MD

“My surgeon, Mr Banks, looked at the scan and his first words were; ‘Look at the state of that’. So you know straight of way it’s not looking good!

“He told me that if I had done what he thought I had then it was an 18-month rehabilitation, and my career was done.

“I had my first operation and was in a cast for three months, you come out of that and your leg has wasted away in terms of muscle.

“Then they did the cruciate operation as they had needed to sort other bits of it before they could get to that, and that was when he realised I had not snapped everything, they were still attached so that’s when we began to think it could be okay.

“But it was a frightening time, I was just married, my wife was pregnant with our first child and I had a three-year contract.

“The worst-case scenario was that I was done as a footballer, so I decided it was time to get a qualification in the area I know, which is football.

“I went down the coaching route from there, starting to get my badges and seriously look into it. But it had never crossed my mind until I did my knee.

“It opened my eyes, you can get to a point where you take football for granted. You don’t think it can be taken away from you, but it can.

“I was 29, earning good money and football was what I had always done. You are not the same person you were at 18 trying to make your way as a professional, you get drawn into thinking it will just go on and on.

“I was lucky on two fronts. First, my knee was alright and, secondly, I went down the coaching route and was far more aware and grateful for what I had. It was a hard way to learn the lesson, but it meant I played until I was 38 because I lived like a monk from that point.

“I had to make sure I had done everything I could, and I started to see the game differently from there. It served me well in the end.”

That no-nonsense approach to knuckling down and putting in the work for a future in the game he loves is typical of Duff.

The 45-year-old has spent much of his career proving people wrong.

As a youngster he had spells on the books with Nottingham Forest, Darlington and Swindon, but was let go by all three for being too small; something which appears absurd given he now stands at 6ft 3in.

He ended up with Carterton after his father John – who was in the RAF – was moved to a base in Oxfordshire, but a loan spell with Cirencester Town was cut short when the coach deemed he was not good enough for the seventh-tier team.

Those disappointments only served to motivate Duff and, when his chance came to establish himself at Cheltenham – then a non-league club – in 1996 he was determined to make the most of the opportunity, while combining his football with weekend shifts in a local Co-op supermarket.

Within three years he had been part of two promotions – scoring the clinching goal in the second of those to send the Robins into the Football League – as well as visiting Wembley for an FA Trophy win.

But the notion Duff might pat himself on the back and be happy with his lot simply never entered the equation.

“I got lucky, I think you need some luck to help you get anywhere. I had some ability but I had Steve Cotterill there who backed me and I got to do things I had not thought I would,” he says.

“I did not score many goals so scoring in the 97th minute to secure promotion, playing at Wembley, and knowing I was going to become a professional footballer - which was a dream I had been chasing - were just incredible memories.

“I was 21, nearly 22, when I made my Football League debut. They were such special times, Cotts was doing it for his local team and he picked the club up by is bootstraps and I went with it.

“You are living out your dream, but I always had that determination in me that I wanted to go further. I would never tell other people, but there were always aims and targets I set myself and I would work as hard as I could to get to them.

“It can be a bit different now with the trappings that can come with being a footballer, but for me it began and ended with being a footballer. I did not care about the other stuff.

“We were promoted again at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and took another step. I just went with it, and we were always pushing on and that’s how it was for me.”

Cheltenham went on to climb to League One. They would suffer relegation but return to the third tier after Duff had followed his former Cheltenham boss Cotterill to Burnley.

The right-back turned centre-half had by this time won his first cap for Northern Ireland, and he would go on to be involved in their famous victories over England and Spain in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

But amidst those happy memories, Belfast-born Duff ruefully smiles when he recalls a meeting with Wales in October 2005 – just months after the win over England – that stands out for the wrong reasons.

“I played right-back in that game against Wales. I faced some big names over my career, but the one player who gave me an absolute going over was Ryan Giggs,” he recalls.

“We lost 3-2, I hit the crossbar after five minutes and it rapidly went downhill from there.

“No matter what I did, he just knew what I was trying to do, and he would go the other way.

“For the second goal he skinned me, then cut inside and nutmegged me at the same time, then went back outside and crossed it for Craig Bellamy to score.

“I just could not handle him and then about the hour we made a sub, and I looked across and I was hoping the number two was going to go up on there, and I think the 15,000 other people in the ground thought the same.

“It was the number two, the crowd cheered and I felt like cheering with them. I think the closest I got to him was when he swapped shirts with me after the game.

“But the England and Spain games are better memories. They were great times and occasions.

Duff - NI

“I came on in the final moments of the England game. We were winning 1-0, Lawrie Sanchez looks round to look at the bench and you’ve got all the forward players eager to go on, and then us defenders not wanting to because you don’t want to be the guy who messes it up and, as a defender, that’s all you can do.

“But Lawrie was right in the emotion of the game and he went to send me on, I asked him where I was playing and he just told me to get on and head it!

“I started the Spain game, and that was special when you consider they won the next two Euros and a World Cup.

“I don’t know how we beat them, but being part of that was so special. The shirt from the Spain game is up on the wall at home.”

Duff made his Championship debut as a 26-year-old, and it was three years later that the incident that set him on the path to a career in coaching happened.

A year on from his return – which was ironically against Crystal Palace on the last day of the 2007-08 season – Duff was a Premier League player, helping Burnley beat a Sheffield United side including a certain Kyle Naughton at Wembley. In the play-off final?

It completed Duff’s remarkable rise but injury would ensure he would have to wait months before eventually making his Premier League bow against Wolves in December 2009.

He made 32 top-flight appearances in total across two seasons – also featuring during the 2014-15 season aged 36.

But, even all these years later, he is typically self-deprecating when he recalls a stint in the elite division that included getting the better of the likes of Sergio Aguero and David Silva in a famous victory over reigning champions Manchester City.

“I was just desperate to play at that level, and I had to wait a bit because I got injured in our final pre-season game in Portland. We played in a baseball stadium and I rocked my ankle on where the pitcher stands,” he says.

“I missed three months and I just wanted to get out there and play in it. I remember the Wolves game vividly because of that.

“Beating Manchester City was probably my best memory of my time in the Premier League. It was an amazing day and an amazing night.

“We had some good times, but I never considered myself a Premier League player, and I still don’t even though I know I played in it.

“I played I think around 30 games. I was proud to get there and I was so excited to play at that level. But I don’t consider myself to have been a Premier League calibre player.”

When Duff rounded off his playing career with a third promotion to the Premier League In 2016, Sean Dyche was the man in charge at Turf Moor.

Duff continues to use the current Everton boss as a sounding board and considers him one of the most important influences on his career, and the best man-manager he has ever encountered.

And the ex-Watford manager had been encouraging his charge to think about taking up an academy coaching role at Burnley before Duff – persuaded by some brutal honesty from the man he still calls gaffer – eventually made the decision to hang up his boots.

“I retired, and it was the right decision, but it was not entirely my choice,” says Duff.

“I started 43 or 44 league games when we were promoted in 2014. I had done my coaching badges by this time. I was 36 and the gaffer told me there was a coaching job in the academy if I wanted it, or I could play on.

“I decided to play on in the 2014-15 season, and the question was the same at the end of that campaign when I’d played 20-odd Premier League games. I played on again.

“But that year where we were promoted again, I started the first 23 games and then we had Hull and it was a quick turnaround over Christmas, as it always is. Dychey told me I couldn’t do those turnarounds at 38 and he took me out of the team.

“The problem was that we then went on an incredible unbeaten run, I couldn’t get back in the team, and that was me retired!

“The offer was the same at the end of that season, but with one difference; the gaffer told me I could take the coaching job or play on, but this time playing on would mean moving somewhere else as he didn’t think I could do a season in the Premier League at 38 or 39.

“I thought about it, I had been at the club a long time, I had a job offer on the table, which you cannot take for granted, and access to one of the best British managers in the top-flight.

“It just felt like the right time, I did not get the chance to play again but I can honestly say I have never missed it, not for a second. James Tarkowski, Michael Keane and Ben Mee were there and I could see the writing on the wall.

“I coached the under-18s and under-23s and had access to the first team, feeding into the bench so it was a great experience for me.”

Duff would take his first senior role by returning to Cheltenham, allowing he, his wife and children to be close to their extended family after a number of years living in Manchester.

He would only pay a fee for one player during his time at his old stomping ground, but defied the odds to lead them to promotion to League One and a 15th-place finish in the third tier that was the best the club had ever achieved.

Amidst that run was an FA Cup tie against all-conquering Manchester City, pitting Duff against Pep Guardiola.

“My wife filmed us watching the draw,” says Duff.

“Our two kids were punching the air celebrating when the names came out of the hat, and in the background you can see me with the dawning realisation of what it means and the task we face.

“It was brilliant for the town and the club, the only shame was there were no fans there because of Covid.

“It is a bit daunting because it’s at tea-time on a Saturday, fans are not allowed at games so you know everyone is going to be watching it.

“You want to make sure you give a good account of yourselves, and the lads did. We were 1-0 up with 10 minutes to go, they brought around £165million worth of players off the bench and we just could not hold out.

“They made it 3-1 with the last kick of the game. It was an amazing experience because players at that level do not get that opportunity.

“I bought a bottle of wine, the most expensive one I have ever bought, to have a chat with Pep afterwards.

“It was his 50th birthday so I used it as an excuse, and he was good in giving his time, and the thing that struck me was how they celebrated their goals.

“Everyone on the pitch and on their bench celebrated properly, and you wonder how you get a group of multimillionaires who have such a high profile to feel that way about beating a lower league team they are expected to beat.

“I asked him about it and he said it was not his job to make it fun for them, it’s their job to do it well because if they don’t, someone else will come in so we have to be altogether.”

From there Duff moved to Barnsley following their relegation from the Championship in 2022. Faced with a depleted squad and a disillusioned fanbase, he transformed their fortunes and came within an ace of getting them promoted at the first attempt.

The 10-man Tykes would ultimately be sunk by a last-gasp goal from Josh Windass in extra-time of the play-off final but, despite the disappointment, Duff looks back on his time at Oakwell with considerable pride.

“It was a bit chaotic when we walked in, there were a number of players who wanted to leave and we did not have many players to work with initially,” he says.

“It was a new challenge, but it was an opportunity. We had good players, but things were not aligned there.

“We got to Wembley and for the players to lose a final is such a disappointment, but I could not have been prouder.

“If you looked at where we had come from, then we played 75 minutes a man down against a big football club in Sheffield Wednesday and got beat with the last kick.

“As a leader it was disappointing, but I was proud as punch because they had given everything and we lost because of factors we were not in control of.”

His summer arrival in SA1 followed. Duff has acknowledged it was a tough start to life at his new club, but has been pleased with how players, staff and fans have galvanised each other over an improved run.

And his desire to bring success to Swansea and its community is palpable.

“Joining Swansea was a no-brainer,” he says.

“I have learned so much already, understanding what this club means to not just the city but a wide community.

“I am proud to be here, and I have to show people what I can do and any knocks you take along the way just fuels the determination to bring success.

“Swansea is a long way from anywhere, so you think of the efforts and the money people spend to follow us and it really does add to that hunger to do well for them, and to recognise the lengths they go to.

“Days like Plymouth (Swansea won 3-1) are incredible where we share moments together, and we hope there will be a lot more of those to come.

“Not that we only recognise the fans when we win, I think you saw at Ipswich we went over to them after we lost because we understand what it took for them to be there.

“We never take it for granted, so we have to keep working and have no regrets. If we give it everything, that is all you can ask.

“I think supporters can accept mistakes, if it comes from giving everything and they see people putting in the effort for the shirt.

“I’ve always believed hard work pays you back, and I worked with people who were able to put in the work and be part of clubs and teams that built something.

“That’s what drives me here. I want to be able to do that over time. Having that ambition and drive is important, but you cannot cut corners.

“If you fail, you fail, it happens in life. It’s not about one moment, it’s about making things better. Everything we have here is incredible, we want to build a team that gets us where we want to be.”

Given his record as a player and now a coach, you wouldn’t bet against the head coach doing just that.

Duff - Chelt

Jack Week Advert
WRB - 2023

 

Swansea City AFC and Swansea City AFC Foundation are backing domestic abuse support initiative J9 by launching a safe space at the Swansea.com Stadium on White Ribbon Day.

White Ribbon Day – a day highlighting the work of domestic abuse charity White Ribbon UK – takes place on November 25 every year and works to highlight different aspects of abuse against women and girls.

The theme in 2023 is #ChangeTheStory, with individuals and organizations encouraged to make consistent choices that can help women and girls live their lives free from gender-based violence.

Violence against men and boys is also on the rise in the UK, as well as abuse within same-sex relationships.

White Ribbon Day and J9 are two of a multitude of charities aiming to eradicate violence in the home, and empower people to live safely and without fear.

As well as raising awareness of the charities’ important work and messages, the Swans are proud to announce the Swansea.com Stadium is now a safe space in line with the J9 initiative.

The J9 initiative aims to create a network of safe places for survivors to speak out and get help with more than 3,000 professionals from businesses across the country trained to offer support, to listen, and to help.

Those who are affected by domestic abuse can contact support and specialist services at the stadium.

For more information about the club and J9 below:

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Hull City
Meet the Opposition, Hull City.

 

Photograph of Hull's Stadium

 

As Swansea City get set to take on Hull City.

WHAT'S THEIR STORY?

Established in 1904, Hull have spent long periods of their history in the lower reaches of the EFL, but have enjoyed one of the most successful periods in their history since the turn of the century.

Some 104 years after their formation they reached the top-flight for the first time under the stewardship of Phil Brown in 2008, as they beat Bristol City in the play-off final.

They spent two years in the Premier League and have had two further stints in the elite division since, with the most recent ending in 2017.

The Tigers briefly fell into League One in 2020, but bounced straight back to the Championship at the first attempt before finishing 19th the year after.

The closest they have come to winning a major honour was in 2014, when they reached the FA Cup final before losing 3-2 to Arsenal after extra-time.

WHO'S THE GAFFER?

Photograph of the Liam Rosenior

 

Liam Rosenior. The former defender has been in charge of the Tigers since last November, having succeeded Shota Arveladze in the MKM Stadium hotseat.

The 39-year-old had previously been in interim charge of Derby County following Wayne Rooney’s departure, but left the club when Paul Warne was appointed in September 2022.

An England Under-21 international as a player, Rosenior was a product of the youth system at Bristol City before moving on to Premier League Fulham in 2003.

Spells at Reading and a loan a Ipswich followed before his five-year stint with Hull, during which time he helped them win promotion to the Premier League and then reach the FA Cup final in 2014, where they lost to Arsenal.

Rosenior hung up his boots in 2018 following a three-year spell with Brighton, having also helped them reach the top-flight.

He began his coaching career in the academy at the south coast club before making the switch to Derby.

WHO'S THE CAPTAIN?

Photograph of club captain

 

Lewie Coyle. The Hull-born defender took the captain’s armband for the 2022-23 season following the departure of Richie Smallwood to Bradford. 

Coyle, 28, has been a regular at the back for the Tigers since his arrival at the MKM Stadium from Fleetwood Town back in 2020, since appearing in over 100 games and scoring three goals. 

The former Leeds trainee's versatility has seen him play on either side of the Tigers’ defence, and earlier in his career he was linked with the likes of Chelsea and Barcelona.

HOW'S THEIR FORM?

Up and down. The Tigers are not far outside the play-off places but have probably not found the consistency they would want although there have been encouraging signs with a run of three wins in their last four games.

They have claimed some notable scalps having toppled leaders Leicester at the King Power Stadium earlier in the campaign.

Of their seven Championship wins this season, four have come on their travels.

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Photograph of Tufan

 

Versatile Turkish midfielder Ozan Tufan was a new face for the Tigers last season and enjoyed a productive first campaign in East Yorkshire.

He contributed eight goals this season, including a brace in a dramatic draw against Sunderland, and has made a fine start to the new campaign with four goals in nine appearances.

Tufan’s career experience had predominantly been garnered in his homeland, where he featured for Bursaspor and Fenerbahçe.

He had spells on loan with Alanyaspor and Watford, before moving to Hull for an undisclosed fee in the summer.

He has scored nine goals in 65 caps for his country.

Photograph of Philogene

 

Jaden Philogene joined the Tigers for an undisclosed fee over the summer and has three goals and five assists to his name following an impressive start to life at the MKM Stadium.

The Aston Villa product - who joined the club from the Pro:Direct Academy made six senior appearances for the Villans across his five years with the club.

He had loan spells with Stoke City and Cardiff City, scoring five goals for the latter last term.

Photograph of Delap

 

Striker Liam Delap is the joint-top scorer for Hull, along with Aaron Connolly, so far this season.

Manchester City youngster Delap is having his third loan spell in the Championship, having previously been with Stoke and Preston.

The son of former Stoke, Southampton and Republic of Ireland international Rory, the younger Delap was on the books at Derby for a decade before making the move to the Etihad Stadium.

He has made six senior appearances for the Citizens, while he has five goals in 16 Championship appearances this term.

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Who wore both shirts?

 

Full-back Stephen Kingsley made his first-team debut for Falkirk in a 2-1 win against Partick Thistle in 2011, when aged just 16.

It was the beginning of a three-year stint with the Scottish club that saw the young full-back develop into a strong defender who represented his country at under-18, under-19 and under-21 levels. 

He crossed the border and signed for the Swans in June 2014 for an undisclosed fee. After a season with the under-23s, he made his senior debut in an FA Cup loss at Oxford United in January 2016. 

He made a winning Premier League start with the club at Arsenal in March of that year, and gained a full Scottish cap as a substitute in a 3-0 defeat against France in June 2016. 

While at the Swans he was loaned out to Yeovil and Crewe before enjoying more game-time in his third season, notably starring in a 4-1 win at West Ham towards the end of the 2016-17 campaign. 

He eventually joined Hull City in August 2017 and made 45 appearances over three seasons with the Tigers before returning to Scotland with Hearts.

Kingsley continues to ply his trade at Tynecastle, with his performances earning him a Scotland recall after he helped the Jam Tarts win the Scottish Championship and secure European football.

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Match report

 

Swansea City’s run of away wins came to an end as Ipswich Town claimed all three points at Portman Road.

 

Swansea City: Carl Rushworth, Jay Fulton, Harry Darling, Matt Grimes (captain), Jerry Yates (Liam Walsh 70), Jamal Lowe, Jamie Paterson (Ollie Cooper 78), Josh Tymon, Liam Cullen, Harrison Ashby (Kyle Naughton 89), Bashir Humphreys.

Unused Substitutes: Andy Fisher, Ben Cabango, Nathan Tjoe-A-On, Sam Parker, Cameron Congreve, Kyrell Wilson.

Ipswich Town: Vaclav Hladky, Harry Clarke, Leif Davis, Sam Morsy (captain), Luke Woolfenden, Conor Chaplin (Dane Scarlett 77), Jack Taylor (Massimo Luongo 77), Cameron Burgess, Omari Hutchinson (Wes Burns 63), George Hirst (Freddie Ladapo 87) Nathan Boadhead (Marcus Harness 63).

Unused Substitutes: Christian Walton, Kayden Jackson, Cameron Humphreys, Axel Tuanzebe.

Referee: Sunny Singh Gill

Attendance: 28,929

Sunderland Report

Swansea City showed tremendous grit and character to earn a point after playing over an hour with 10 men against Sunderland at the Swansea.com Stadium.

 

Swansea City: Carl Rushworth, Harry Darling, Matt Grimes (captain), Jerry Yates (Ollie Cooper 69), Jamal Lowe, Jamie Paterson (Ben Cabango 77), Josh Tymon, Charlie Patino, Liam Cullen (Jay Fulton 46), Harrison Ashby, Bashir Humphreys.

Unused Substitutes: Andy Fisher, Kristian Pedersen, Nathan Tjoe-A-On, Kyle Naughton, Liam Walsh, Cameron Congreve.

Sunderland: Anthony Patterson, Niall Huggins (Bradley Dack 56), Luke O'Nien (captain), Nazariy Rusyn (Luis Semedo 56), Dan Ballard (Dennis Cirkin 76), Patrick Roberts, Jack Clarke, Dan Neil (Abdoullah Ba 79), Trai Hume, Jobe Bellingham (Alex Pritchard 56), Pierre Ekwah.

Unused Substitutes: Matthew Young, Jenson Seelt, Mason Burstow, Adil Aouchiche. 

Referee: Robert Madley

Attendance: 16,974

Peter Lynn Advert
Stilettos and Studs with Julie Kissick

 

I’ve talked before in this column about the power of football in bringing people and their communities together, and how proud I have always been to be a part of a club which is made up of so many people with a strong social conscience.

Well, that pride tipped the scales last week when 70 people associated with Swansea City Football Club slept outside the Swansea.com Stadium to raise funds and awareness of homelessness in the city.

If you cast your minds back two Fridays ago, you will recall the Met Office weather warnings and the howling winds and driving rain of that night.

Yet there were people from our club who committed to braving the elements and experiencing what many of our city’s most vulnerable people endure on a nightly basis – sleeping outside, often with little or no shelter.

They managed to raise an incredible £23,980 for Matthew’s House, a charity which provides practical support and hospitality for those at their point of need and also for our own Swansea City AFC Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the club, and which does such significant community-based work across Swansea.

You can still donate to the final fundraising tally until the end of the month.

Paul France, the head of the Foundation, said that it would use the money to support its “new programme working with people and families affected by addiction, one of the main causes of homelessness.”

You may also have seen that as part of the English Football League’s Week of Action earlier this month, Bashir Humphreys and Charlie Patino lent their support to the Foundation’s Premier League Kicks session in Gorseinon.

And Former Players’ Association stalwarts Alan Curtis and Lee Trundle joined those taking part in one of the weekly walking football sessions held at Pure Football.

King Curt summed up why these events are so important: “It’s nice for the supporters to interact with people who played for the club a long time ago. We get a lot out of it, and I hope everyone else does as well,” he said.

“The club has always been good in terms of being a big part of the community, and we’ve always thrown ourselves into community events. Something like this just highlights the connection that is between the club and people of Swansea and the outer reaches.”

And that’s the point, isn’t it – connection.  It builds that sense of community and belonging, and that is what matters to us as human beings.

There are great examples of little pockets of people coming together to support each other and the wider community right across our club, some in a formal and many in an informal way.

Our Foundation does an incredible job in offering a wide range of events and support, and I dare say that much of it goes under the radar and so many of us are unaware of the great work that goes on under the Swansea City umbrella.

So, a big up to the Foundation and all those Jacks who contribute to making life a little better for those in our communities.

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Erthyglau Cymreag

 

Wedi i drip diweddar i’r Mestalla dod ag atgofion o fuddugoliaeth yr Elyrch yno yn 2013. Bydd Aled Lloyd-Biston yn trafod rhai o’i hoff atgofion o gefnogi’r Elyrch ar hyd y blynyddoedd.

Yn ddiweddar es i ar drip gyda rhai ffrindiau i Valencia i wylio nhw’n chwarae yn erbyn Cadiz. Nid oedd modd i ni fynd i’r gêm honno gan ei fod wedi cael ei ail-drefnu, ond fe aethom ar stadium tour o’r Mestalla yn lle. Wrth gerdded allan ac edrych lan i’r gornel lle’r oedd cefnogwyr Abertawe yn ystod y fuddugoliaeth wych 3-0 10 mlynedd yn ôl, roeddwn i wedi dechrau meddwl beth yw hoff gemau’r Elyrch dwi wedi gweld.

 

Reading 2

Yr Elyrch 4-2 Reading - Mai 30 2011

Er oeddwn i yn 11 oed yn unig dwi’n cofio’r diwrnod yma yn glir iawn. Codais yn gynnar i ddal y bws o glwb pêl-droed Garden Village. Fi a fy nhad oedd wedi mynd, nid oedd fy chwaer na fy mam wedi mynd gan fod hi’n benblwydd fy chwaer- ond no way oedd fi a fy nhad yn colli’r gêm, hon. Roedd rhaid i fi eistedd yn ffrynt y bws gan fy mod i ddim yn teithio’n dda iawn, ond fi’n credu bod y cyffro wedi gwneud i fi llwyr anghofio am hynny.

Prynais i het mawr du a gwyn i wisgo yn y stadiwm, ac wrth gerdded allan i’m set dwi’n cofio’r môr o ddu a gwyn mor amlwg yn haul Llundain. Ac wrth gwrs, pwy all anghofio araith Kev Johns cyn y gêm, roedd e’n berffaith- a’r perfformiad ar y cae yn cyffwrdd ar berffeithrwydd hefyd. Dwy gôl gan Sinclair a chwip o ergyd gan Dobbie ac oni’n meddwl bod ni wedi ennill. Ond dyw’r Elyrch ddim yn gwneud pethe’r ffordd haws, wrth gwrs.

Dwi dal yn meddwl bod gan Abertawe dyled i Garry Monk am flocio ergyd Noel Hunt- bydde hwnna wedi troi'r gêm ar ei phen. Roedd gweld cic smotyn Sinclair yn hedfan i’r rhwyd yn rhyddhad mawr a dwi’n cofio rhywun (sai’n siŵr pwy) yn codi fi i’r awyr pan aeth y bêl mewn. Wrth i Phil Dowd chwythu’r chwiban olaf roedd y dathlu wedi dechrau a doedd dim stop.

Ar y bws nôl roedd canu a dawnsio a pan nesi gyrraedd adref roedd mam ‘di cymryd llun ohonof yn fy het a’i roi ar mug- felly doedd dim anghofio’r diwrnod hwnnw.

 

Arsenal

Yr Elyrch 3-2 Arsenal - Ionawr 15 2012

Nawr dyma chi gêm oedd gwerth ei gwylio. Robin van Persie, Thierry Henry, Andrey Arshavin, roedd gan Arsenal chwaraewyr anhygoel yn eu carfan. Roeddwn i bron heb fynd i’r gêm achos arhosais i draw tŷ ffrind y noson cynt ac wedi aros lan yn hwyr iawn yn chwarae FIFA.

Roeddwn i’n cysgu ar y ffordd i’r gêm a methu cadw fy llygaid ar agor wrth gerdded i’r stadiwm. Ond fi mor falch es i i’r gêm hon.

O’n i’n meddwl bod prynhawn hir o’m blaenau pan sgoriodd van Persie o fewn pum munud, a fy nhad yn troi ataf a dweud ‘Vorm’s gonna have a bad back from picking the ball out of the net today’- mor anghywir oedd y datganiad hwnnw. Sinclair yn sgorio o 12 llath i unioni’r sgôr ac yna gorfoledd pan sgoriodd Dyer i roi ni ar y blaen- cyn i Walcott codi’r bêl dros Vorm 10 munud yn ddiweddarach.

Ond cyn i Arsenal orffen dathlu roedd y bêl yn cefn eu rhwyd a Danny Graham yn rhedeg draw i’r cefnogwyr yn dathlu ei hun. Sgoriodd e’r gôl yr ochr oeddwn i’n eistedd a dwi’n cofio Graham yn ei boots gwyn yn rhwydo mor hawdd a rhedeg i ffwrdd gyda’i bawd ar ei drwyn yn dathlu. 3-2 yn erbyn y Gunners a gweld Thierry Henry yn chwarae? Good day at the office!

 

Reading vs Swans

Lerpwl 1-3 Yr Elyrch - Hydref 31 2012

Pan oedd ein gobeithion o ennill y cwpan yn fychan iawn a thrip i Anfield yn ein gwynebu, sai’n credu bod llawer o gefnogwyr yn meddwl y byddwn yn gadael gyda buddugoliaeth. O’n i’n ffodus ei fod yn hanner tymor a bod modd i fi a fy nheulu fynd i’r gêm, a mor falch ein bod ni wedi penderfynu gwneud hynny.

Roedd y gêm yn un cyffrous, ond gyda Brendan Rodgers fel rheolwr Lerpwl roedd 'na chydig bach mwy o gymhelliant i’w curo wedi iddo ein gadael i reoli nhw ar ddiwedd y tymor cynt. Fi’n cofio cerdded lan i atmosffer Anfield a chlywed y dorf yn canu ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ ar dop ei lleisiau, oedd yn brofiad cwbl gwahanol. Ond cafodd y dorf ei dawelu wedi hanner awr a hynny o ganlyniad i beniad gwych Chico Flores, a gafodd ei ddilyn gan cartweel o’dd dim cweit wedi gweithio mas. Ond pwy oedd yn becso achos roeddem ni ar y blaen yn Anfield.

Wrth i’r ail hanner gychwyn a dim goliau am y 25 munud gyntaf roeddwn yn ofni y byddai Lerpwl yn sgorio a bydd ein gobeithion o gyrraedd y pumed rownd yn pylu i ffwrdd, ond ni ddaeth hynny. Nathan Dyer wnaeth sgorio ein hail, a chants ‘You’re getting sacked in the morning’ i Brendan Rodgers yn dilyn. Ac er i Suarez sgorio i Lerpwl pedwar munud yn ddiweddarach, fe wnaeth Jonathan de Guzman sicrhau’r fuddugoliaeth a noson i’w chofio yn y munudau olaf.

 

Reading vs Swans

Abertawe 3-0 Caerdydd - Chwefror 8 2014

Derby days. Maen nhw bob tro yn diweddu mewn gorfoledd a dathlu neu dristwch a’r teimlad bod y byd ar ben. Ar ôl colli yn y South Wales Derby cyntaf yn yr Uwch Gynghrair, roedd yr ornest yn Stadiwm y Liberty yn hollbwysig i’r Elyrch i geisio sicrhau buddugoliaeth.

Roedd y stadiwm yn orlawn a phob un cornel o’r Liberty yn chantio mewn cefnogaeth i’r 11 alarch ar y cae mewn gobaith o ennill yn erbyn yr hen elyn. Roedd yr hanner cyntaf yn ddigon agos os fi’n cofio’n iawn, gyda chwpl o gyfleoedd i’r naill dîm ond yn ddi-sgôr ar yr egwyl.

Ond dau funud wedi’r egwyl dyma Wayne Routledge yn derbyn y bêl wedi pas gwych gan Pablo Hernandez, ac yn ei chrymanu i gornel y rhwyd. Fi’n cofio’r dorf yn mynd yn wallgof a phawb yn dathlu pe bai ein bod ni newydd ennill y gynghrair- sydd yn dangos faint oedd y gêm yn ei golygu. Roedd Craig Bellamy wedi bwrw’r bar ychydig funudau yn ddiweddarach, ac er bod pawb yn dathlu ei fod wedi methu roedd fy nghalon bron a suddo wrth weld y bêl yn hedfan tua’r rhwyd.

Efallai roedd y pum munud lle sgoriwyd y ddwy gôl olaf y cyfnod mwyaf cyffrous yn hanes fy nghyfnod yn cefnogi’r clwb. Routledge wnaeth greu’r cyfle i Nathan Dyer o bawb i benio’r bêl i gefn y rhwyd a’n rhoi ni dau ar y blaen.

A cyn i ni hyd yn oed orffen dathlu roedd Wilfried Bony wedi sgorio’r trydydd- what a way to cap off a perfect night i’r Elyrch. Buddugoliaeth wych a oedd yn ddechreuad i weld Caerdydd yn cwympo nôl i’r Bencampwriaeth.

 

United v Swans

Manchester United 1-2 Yr Elyrch - Awst 16 2014

Roedd gwyliau haf yn golygu un peth- cyfle i weld Yr Elyrch yn chwarae oddi cartref eto, a’r tro hwn yn erbyn un o goreuon y gynghrair. Manchester United yn Old Trafford, stadiwm nad oeddem wedi ennill ynddo yn y gynghrair erioed. Ond roedd hynny am newid.

Roedd y gêm yn ddechreuad delfrydol i’r tymor, a hynny ddiolch yn bennaf i Gylfi Sigurdsson. Roeddwn ochr arall y cae pan oedd ei bas i Ki Sung-Yueng yn rhoi’r cyfle i’r dyn o Dde Corea rhwydo i’r cornel isaf. Roeddwn yn gallu gweld llwybr yr ergyd mor glir i’r gornel ac yna’r dathlu gwyllt yr un mor glir i bob un cefnogwr Man United.

Roeddwn yn gobeithio ein bod ni’n gallu dal ymlaen tan hanner amser ac yna newid tactegau i fod yn fwy amddiffynnol yn yr ail hanner, ac roeddwn yn wên o glust i glust pan chwibanwyd y chwiban hanner amser. Ond llai na 10 munud mewn i’r ail hanner ac roedd ergyd acrobataidd Wayne Rooney wedi unioni’r sgôr i’r Red Devils, a’r pwysau yn dechrau pentyrru ar Yr Elyrch o ganlyniad.

Tyler Blackett oedd yn amddiffyn Jefferson Montero y diwrnod hwn, a dwi’n cofio gwaeddu ar Montero i redeg ato bob tro gan nad oedd ef yn gallu delio ‘da’i gyflymder. Ac o le ddaeth ein gôl buddugol? O ganlyniad i Jefferson Montero yn rhedeg lawr yr asgell a chroesi i Routledge, ei ergyd gwarthus yn darganfod Sigurdsson a wnaeth ergydio i gefn y rhwyd, er i de Gea gael ei bawen arni.

Ffrwydrodd yr away end wrth i ni ddathlu’n wyllt- roeddem wedi sgorio ail gol yn Old Trafford ac ar ein ffordd i fuddugoliaeth- a hynny oedd y canlyniad. Am ganlyniad a phenwythnos i’w chofio ym Manceinion.

ALED LLOYD-BISTON

 

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93-94 Nostalgia

 

This season marks the 30th anniversary of Swansea City’s first trip to Wembley for the Autoglass Trophy final in 1994. To mark it, our club historian Gwyn Rees takes us back through the story of that campaign and some of the key figures involved. Here, he profiles goalkeeper Roger Freestone.

Image of Roger Freestone

 

Over the course of 15 years with the Swans, Roger Freestone experienced great highs and crushing lows, but his commitment to the club was never in question.

As a schoolboy, Roger’s ability in between the sticks was recognised by his country, winning caps at both schoolboy and youth level. This led to him signing professional forms at his hometown club Newport County, where he made his first-team debut at just 18 years of age.

Just 13 games into his career Newport, who were experiencing financial problems, sold the teenager to Chelsea for a much needed £95,000.

The Chelsea side won the Second Division title during that 1986-87 season, meaning Roger gained a medal in his first season at Stamford Bridge, but the player never really settled in west London, and when the opportunity to move to the Vetch Field on loan came around in late 1989, he jumped at the chance.

He made his Swansea debut at home to Notts County, and played a further 15 competitive games before returning to Chelsea at the end of his loan spell.

He was loaned out once again to Hereford United, but the die had been set, and his heart was set on making the move to the Vetch Field a permanent one.

The negotiations were lengthy and protracted, but in summer 1991 a £45,000 deal was agreed.

Consistency was the key to Roger’s time at the Vetch Field, and he was regularly considered one of the best goalkeepers outside the top division, with the club having to fend off interest from clubs in higher divisions from time to time.

Another eye-catching aspect of Roger’s game was his coolness from 12 yards. When the Swans were experiencing problems from the penalty spot, it was Roger who volunteered to take on the responsibility, and successful spot-kicks against Oxford, Shrewsbury and Chesterfield underlined his composure under pressure.

In April 1994, Swansea played at the world-famous Wembley Stadium for the first time in their history in the Autoglass Trophy final against Huddersfield Town, and Roger was in the line-up on that historic day.

With the teams were still locked at 1-1 after extra-time, it was left to Roger to save the final penalty of the shootout that secured the cup for the Swans.

Three seasons later the club would once again play at the famous venue, this time in a Third Division play-off final against Northampton Town.

In a game low on skill, but high on energy, the team would lose in the most cruel of fashion to a retaken stoppage-time free-kick by John Frain.

During his time at the club, Roger would also suffer the heartache of losing twice in the Third Division play-off semi-finals; to West Bromwich Albion and Scunthorpe United respectively. But his most successful season came in 1999-2000 when, under his former Chelsea manager John Hollins, the club won the fourth-tier title after an unforgettable final-day draw at Rotherham United; who were the only side capable of overhauling the Swans.

This capped a record-breaking season for the club and Roger himself, who kept twenty-two clean sheets, and was rewarded for his consistent displays by Wales manager Mark Hughes, who handed him his only full Welsh cap against Brazil.

During the dark days of 2001, when the club fell into the hands of chairman Tony Petty, Roger was one of the players the new man tried to offload to Queens Park Rangers, but the player stuck to his guns and stayed at the club.

The end of a turbulent season saw Roger take a joint managerial position at the club alongside Nick Cusack, but niggling injuries saw the player finally released in June 2004 and return to his former club Newport County for a brief spell.

Roger’s time at the club was at times testing, but due to his commitment and fitness he can boast having once played 179 consecutive league games, and his record number of appearances will probably never be broken.

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Jack the Lad

 

Saturday is my birthday.

Struggling to find something new to buy someone approaching their 57th year, my family asked me what I would like as a gift.

A bit of peace and quiet was what instantly came to mind, but I thought it was probably best not to say that out loud!

To be fair, I have been extremely lucky, not only to reach this age, but for the generosity my family have shown me on my birthday over the years.

Well stocked with socks and smellies, I started to think about what other gift would make my day.

Accepting that a fortnight in the Seychelles was probably not a realistic option, I came to the conclusion that three points for the Swans against Hull this afternoon would be as welcome as anything I was likely to receive.

So, that started me wondering what the chances were of the Swans delivering on my birthday wish.

I tried to think back about how many times the Swans had played on my birthday and, indeed, how many times they had won.

But one of the disadvantages of being 57 years old is that my memory has far more holes than the average pair of well-worn birthday socks.

So, I had to do a bit of research.

I have to report that, at first glance, the statistics don’t look good.

In the 11 league games that have been played on November 25 since I was born, the Swans have only won only once.

And that game was played on November 25, 1967 – the date of my first birthday!

Typical! The only time the Swans have ever won a league match on my birthday, I would have been completely oblivious!

For the record, on that auspicious day the Swans beat Port Vale 4-2 in the old Fourth Division in front of a 4,827 crowd at the Vetch. Keith Todd scored twice, while Herbie Williams and Geoff Thomas bagged the others.

Keith-Todd

However, our league record on November 25 is not quite as bleak as it may first seem.

Although we’ve only won once on my birthday, the records show that we’ve also only lost once on my birthday too – November 25, 1989, when we were beaten 2-0 at Bristol Rovers in Division Three.

All the other league matches played on my birthday have been drawn, including a remarkable League Two match at Cambridge United in 2000.

The Swans were 3-0 down after just 36 minutes and that was still the score in the 76th minute before Giovanni Savarase pulled one back.

Giovanni Savarase

The much-travelled Venezuela international grabbed another in the 89th minute, before Steve Watkin completed an incredible comeback a minute later.

One loss in 11 league games on my birthday doesn’t look too bad, does it?

But when you add cup results into the mix, the picture looks even better!

The Swans have played three cup matches on my birthday and they won them all comfortably - 4-0 at Cwmbran in the Welsh Cup in 1987; 5-1 in the same competition against Caerleon at the Vetch in 1980, and 4-1 against Hillingdon Borough in the FA Cup back in 1978.

I particularly remember the Hillingdon game because they played in a similar kit to the distinctive Wales and Coventry City Admiral kits of the 1970s. The Swansea scorers that day were Robbie James, Alan Waddle and Jeremy Charles, who netted twice.

Some of the more recent results on my birthday included a 0-0 draw with Liverpool in 2012 which lifted the Swans to eighth place in the Premier League.

The match saw manager Brendan Rodgers return to Swansea for the first time since leaving the club in May of that year.

Another returnee that day was Joe Allen, who played a big part in keeping the match scoreless by clearing an Ashley Williams header off the line.

Williams had been in the news during the run up to the match for comments he had made in his autobiography about wanting to “knock out” Liverpool’s Luis Suarez during the previous season’s match at Anfield, and accusing the Uruguayan of diving. I’m guessing those two don’t exchange birthday gifts!

Five years later there was another 0-0 draw on my birthday when Bournemouth were the visitors in a Premier League match that was played in front of a crowd of over 20,000.

The last time the Swans ran out on today’s date was in 2020 when there was no-one present for the home match with Sheffield Wednesday due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

The Swans were grateful to an Andre Ayew equaliser after Adam Reach had put the Owls ahead. The 1-1 draw saw the Swans stay in fourth place in the Championship.

So, in the 14 competitive matches the Swans have played on my birthday, they have lost just once, and have never lost at home. Not a bad record when you look at it that way.

Mind you, those last three results against Liverpool, Bournemouth and Sheffield Wednesday would suggest we shouldn’t expect a goal fest this afternoon!

Personally, I’d love a repeat of that 4-2 win on my first birthday... all those years ago!

And as we all know, there is a famous historical precedent for a 4-2 win when the Swans play at home to Hull.

It felt like the whole of Swansea’s birthday, let alone mine, on that unforgettable May afternoon 20 years ago!

C’mon you Swans!

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Match Report, Bristol City U21s 0 - Swans U21s 3

A Cameron Congreve brace and a Kyrell Wilson strike ensured Swansea City Under-21s took all three points on the road at Bristol City in the Professional Development League.

Cameron Congreve Bristol

The Wales youth international - who has just returned from under-21s' duty for his country - scored either side of the break, with two accomplished strikes from outside the box.

Wilson, having set up Congreve's goals, then bagged one of his own with less than 15 minutes to go after he lifted the ball over the keeper following a neat ball in from the left.

It was Swansea's second away win in the league, after last picking up the three points away from home against Coventry City in September.

There were four changes to the side that had faced Aston Villa in the Premier League Cup last time out. Evan Watts and Congreve returned from international duty to go straight into the starting XI, replacing Remy Mitchell and Kristian Fletcher respectively. 

Maliq Cadogan and Dan Watts also came in for Kai Ludvigsen and Kian Jenkins, while Lincoln McFayden would play the final half hour as he returned after eight months out with a serious hamstring injury.

It proved an even start, with the teams exchanging half-chances through Wilson and Sam Pearson respectively. 

Joe Thomas then planted a header well over, after Dan Watts whipped in a corner-kick following a good spell of possession for the visitors.

Swansea came forward again, Liam Smith threaded Congreve in on goal after fine work from Thomas on the right wing. Congreve quickly turned on the edge of the box and drew a save from Bristol keeper Lewis Thomas.

Bristol’s Pearson was at the centre of everything positive for the hosts, and he fired wide from a first-time effort inside the penalty area, before forcing Evan Watts off his line to gather a long-range set-piece. 

A great chance fell to the visitors just before the break. Some great work from Dan Watts fed Sam Parker into space near the byline, and his dangerous cross needed Taine Anderson to clear the threat from beneath his own crossbar.

But the Swans would break the deadlock just before the break. Wilson pulled a cross back for Congreve, who took his time before calmly slotted the ball past the diving Thomas. 

The hosts looked to respond immediately with skipper Dylan Kadji attempting a long-range chip that was well gathered by Evan Watts.

However, the Swans doubled their lead as they made a great start to the second half.

Wilson was involved once again, seizing on a loose pass before accelerating into space and picking out Congreve, who once again showed great composure to beat the keeper and find the net.

Smith then looked to get amongst the goals, Parker produced a lovely ball to the Scotsman who drove forward but dragged his final shot wide.

There was then a change on the hour mark, when goal scorer Congreve made way for McFayden on his return from injury after a long lay-off.

The Swans would round things off by putting the icing on the cake with 15 minutes to go. Wilson applied the finishing touch as he raced on to a pass from McFayden to fire home his 11th goal of the season.

Swansea City Under-21s: Evan Watts, Joe Thomas, Sam Parker, Mitchell Bates, Filip Lissah, Richard Faakye (Charlie Veevers 82), Maliq Cadogan (Jack Stafford 82), Liam Smith, Cameron Congreve (Lincoln McFayden 60), Dan Watts, Kyrell Wilson (Zane Myers 82)

Substitutes: Remy Mitchell.

 

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Swans U18

Swansea City Under-18s suffered defeat as Millwall came from behind to claim victory in their Professional Development League clash at Landore.

Rohan Davies opened the scoring in the first five minutes for the Swans after some fine work from Aimar Govea down the left. 

But the lead was short lived as the visitors grabbed three goals in 10 minutes through Jack Howland, Frankie Baker and Alfie Massey respectively. 

Millwall had a fourth after the break after Adedapo Olugbodi fired a long-range effort into the net. Govea would pull one back for the Swans in the final quarter but it wasn't enough for the hosts.

Swansea had shown three changes to the side that had faced Cardiff City last time out, with Josh Pescatore, Kit Margetson and Harlan Perry coming in for Cameron Llewellyn, Ewan Griffiths and Dan Watts respectively. 

The home side started brightly, with Govea and Yori Griffith heavily involved; the latter firing a strike goalward which bounced off the crossbar with the keeper beaten.

The visitors also got some joy out of a high press after Baker broke free down the middle only for his final effort to be wide of the target. 

The Swans soon got on the front foot and took the lead. A lovely sweeping move from back to front saw Govea send Davies racing in on goal to steer the ball past the keeper and into the net.

The visitors had a chance not long after the opener. Kavalli Heywood got away from his man in the middle of the park, but his shot landed safely in the hands of Swansea keeper Margetson.

U18 Pic

However, the Lions kept coming and they got their reward; Heywood driving infield to work room for a shot and find the net. 

The visitors then took the lead when Baker steered his shot from the edge of the area into the bottom corner. 

The hosts sought a quick response. Govea was proving to be handful down the left flank, and he combined well with Davies once again but the forward could not apply the finishing touch.

Instead, Millwall would strike again as Massey got on the scoresheet to put them in a commanding position.

The score remained the same at the interval but Swansea started the second period well with Govea causing trouble down the left again, combining brilliantly with Thomas Woodward and Griffith, but the move came to nothing.

Despite the Swans creating numerous chances, the visitors extended their advantage to three goals when Olugbodi lashed home from 20 yards.

The goals kept coming as the Swans pulled one back. The lively Govea was sent into space down the left before embarking on a mazy run past the Lions’ defenders to slot the ball into the net.

Swansea had chances to narrow the deficit further, but ultimately were unable to set up a grandstand finish.

Swansea City Under-18s: Kit Margetson, Iestyn Jones, Arthur Parker, Jacob Cook, Ben Phillips, Harlan Perry, Josh Pescatore (captain), Yori Griffith, Rohan Davies, Thomas Woodward, Aimar Govea (Billy Clarke 80). 

Substitutes: Osian Williams, Ewan Griffiths, Teo Minchev, Aidan Higgins. 

 

Match Report

Second-half goals from Ellie Lake and captain Katy Hosford saw Swansea City Women mark their return to the Swansea.com Stadium with victory over Wrexham in front of a record crowd.

The 3,859 in attendance was nearly treble Swansea City’s previous record attendance at a women’s team home game, and they were treated to a fine spectacle under the lights in SA1.

Photograph of Women Celebrating

Swansea City Women: Claire Skinner, Alicia Powe, Lucy Finch, Ellie Lake, Nieve Jenkins (Sammy Wynne 73), Robyn Pinder (Monet Legall 80), Chloe Chivers, Katy Hosford (captain), Stacey John-Davis (Emily Thomas 73), Sophie Brisland-Hancocks (Steph Turner 89), Jess Williams.

Unused Substitutes: Chelsea Herbert.

Wrexham Women: Delyth Morgan (captain), Phoebe Davies, Louisha Doran, Rebecca Pritchard, Tonicha Dickens, Amber Lightfoot, Carra Jones (Libby Mackenzie 89), Katie Sharp, Ava Suckley, Lili Jones (Lily Whitefoot 80), Mari Gibbard.

Unused Substitutes: Chloe Ankers, Natasha Spearing, Ruby Jones.

Referee: Ryan Kenny

Attendance: 3,859

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Memorable Match

 

Swansea City 4 - 2 Hull City
Third Division - May 3, 2003
 
Photograph of Swans v Hull

 

An unforgettable afternoon of nerves and anxiety ended in celebration in SA1 as James Thomas' hat-trick preserved Swansea City's Football League status.

Needing a win to remain in the fourth tier the hosts got the perfect start as Thomas drilled home a penalty in just the sixth minute after Leon Britton had been brought down in the area,

However, defensive errors allowed Hull to lead as Stuart Elliot and Martin Reeves found the net.

But the Swans levelled through Thomas' second spot-kick after Justin Whittle was adjudged to have handled in the area, before the striker's header fell for Lenny Johnrose to put the hosts back in the lead.

And Thomas put a seal on the crucial victory by seizing on a loose pass to loft a wonderful chip over Alan Fettis.

If you want to get the inside story on Swansea's great escape on that wet May day, you can watch our documentary to mark the 20th anniversary below.

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Junior Jacks

Croeso nol!

We’re so pleased to be back at the Swansea.com Stadium after another international break and it was great to see so many of you at last weekend’s Swans Women game.

We loved dancing with you and, of course, celebrating the win!

Our prediction for today’s game is that we will win 1-0 and we think Jamal Lowe will get the goal!

What do you think the score will be?

To celebrate Swansea City Women being back at the Swansea.com Stadium, we’ve created a quiz all about our Women’s side!

 

Quiz Button

 

Let us know how many you get.

Enjoy the game,

Cyril and Cybil

 

 

Junior Jack of the WeekJunior Jack of the Week, Eddie

Age:
9

What was the first Swansea City game you attended?
Swansea v Burnley in 2023.
 
What is your favourite memory of watching the Swans?

I love singing along with the Jack Army.
 
Who is your favourite Swans player and why?

I like the goalkeepers.
 
What do you like most about supporting Swansea City?

I like going to the games with my dad.
 
Why did you start supporting Swansea City?

I am half-Welsh and half-Spanish, but I live in Swansea.
 
Do you play football? If so, what position do you play?

Yes, I’m a defender.
 
Do you play any other sports? What are they?

I also play rugby for Penlan.
 
What is an interesting fact about you?

I am half-Welsh and half Spanish.
 
What is your favourite subject in school and why?

None really. I prefer when it is half-term!

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Josh Key, Sponsored by Infinity Document SolutionsKristian Pedersen, Sponsored by Jones Jay Fulton, Sponsored by Davies ChemistsBen Cabango, Sponsored by Happy Home FurnishersHarry Darling, Sponsored by Glanmor Chartered SurveyorsJoe Allen, Sponsored by The Morgans CollectionMatt Grimes, Sponsored by Owens GroupJerry Yates, sponsored by TrimologyJamal Lowe, Sponsored by AmmcomJamie Paterson, Sponsored by SchmidtCharlie Patino, Sponsored by HGV Drivers UKMykola Kuharevic, Sponsored by Amroc Heating Liam Cullen, Sponsored by Pure CyberCarl Rushworth, Sponsored by AWSNathan Wood, Sponsored by A1 ResinKyle Naughton, Sponsored by Spartan Scaffolding SolutionsHarrison Ashby, Sponsored by Celtic Furniture InstallationsOllie Cooper, Sponsored by TW GroupBashir Humphreys, Sponsored by Aqua Gas
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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 Swansea.com 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 accessibility@swanseacity.com, 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 www.radiocity1386am.co.uk. To learn more about accessible facilities at the stadium, please click here.
 

Inclusion Room

The inclusion room at the Swansea.com 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 Swansea.com 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.

We are all Jacks

We are all Jacks is Swansea City’s commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion both within the club and throughout the local community.

Working with international and local charities, as well as supporter groups, Swansea City strives to ensure that a visit to the Swansea.com Stadium is a welcoming experience for everyone regardless of sex, sexuality, gender identity, religion, race, disability, or age.

The club takes a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination, harassment, victimisation, bullying and abuse.

Supporters are encouraged to report instances of abusive and discriminatory language within the stadium by using the anonymous safe text number 88440, starting the message with the word SWANS and providing details of the incident.

Messages will be charged at the standard rate for your network provider.

The details from the message will be received at the match control room, where any necessary investigation and/or action will be taken. The club will also record the mobile number of the individual reporting an incident to aid with any inquiries.

Joma
Swans Squad

Head Coach Michael Duff

Andy Fisher

Josh Key

3 Kristian Pedersen

Jay Fulton

Ben Cabango

Harry Darling

Joe Allen

Matt Grimes (c)

Jerry Yates

10 Jamal Lowe

11 Josh Ginnelly

12 Jamie Paterson

14 Josh Tymon

15 Nathanael Ogbeta

18 Charlie Patino

19 Mykola Kuharevich

20 Liam Cullen

21 Nathan Tjoe-A-On

22 Carl Rushworth

23 Nathan Wood

26 Kyle Naughton

28 Liam Walsh

29 Nathan Broome

30 Harrison Ashby

31 Ollie Cooper

33 Bashir Humphreys

36 Ben Lloyd

40 NUMBER RETIRED

45 Cameron Congreve

46 Ben Hughes

47 Azeem Abdulai

Hull City Squad

Head coach Liam Rosenior

1 Matt Ingram

2 Lewie Coyle ©

3 Rúben Vinagre

4 Jacob Greaves

5 Alfie Jones

6 Sean McLoughlin

7 Ozan Tufan

8 Greg Docherty

9 Allahyar Sayyadmanesh

10 Adama Traoré

11 Doğukan Sinik

14 Harry Vaughan

15 Tyler Morton

17 Ryan Allsop

20 Liam Delap

22 Jason Lokilo

23 Jaden Philogene

24 Jean Michaël Seri

25 James Furlong

26 Andy Smith

27 Regan Slater

29 Matty Jacob

30 Scott Twine

31 Vaughn Covil

32 Thimothée La-Tutala

33 Cyrus Christie

34 David Robson

44 Aaron Connolly

Match Officials

Referee - Dean Whitestone

Assistant Referee 1 - Daniel Leach

Assistant Referee 2 - Robert Merchant

Fourth Official - Scott Oldham

Swansea City AFC Badge

Chairman - Andy Coleman
Honorary Club President - Alan Curtis MBE

Directors

Jason Levien, Andy Coleman, Nigel Morris, Brett Cravatt, Jake Silverstein, Sam Porter, Martin Morgan, Paul Meller (supporter director), Romie Chaudhari, Bobby Hernreich, Todd Marcelle, Gareth Davies.

Director of Business and Legal Affairs: Sam Porter.
Associate Directors: Adam Lewis.

FIRST-TEAM STAFF

Head Coach – Michael Duff

Assistant Head Coaches - Alan Sheehan and Martin Paterson

Head of Goalkeeping – Martyn Margetson

First Team Coach - Kris O'Leary

Head of Medical - Dr Jez McCluskey

Staff: Ailsa Jones, Bethany Chaddock, Matt Murray, Thomas Gittoes, Michael Eames, Shaun Baggridge, Shaun Howl, Jonathan Jones, Jono Aveston, Jake Dayus.

SENIOR MANAGEMENT GROUP

Paul Watson (Sporting Director); Andrew Davies (Head of Commercial, Operations, & Facilities);
Gareth Davies (CFO);
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, Events & Fan Engagement: Catherine Thomas
Head of Safeguarding: Rebeca Storer
HR Manager: Nicola Butt
Senior Commercial Sponsorship Manager: Lee Merrells
Head of Commercial:
Richard Morris
Head of Media & Communications:
Ben Donovan
Ticket Office Manager: Lewis Bullen
Head of Facilities: Gordon David
Grounds Manager: Evan Davies
Disability Access Officer: Catherine Thomas
Head of Swansea City AFC Foundation: Paul France
Club Ambassador: Lee Trundle

PROGRAMME PRODUCTION

Contributors: Andrew Gwilym, Hayley Ford, Sophie Davis, Rachael Tucker, Cerith White, Rhys Kemish, Dom Hynes, Fraser Dickson, Ben Donovan, Owen Morgan, Julie Kissick, Gwyn Rees, Aled Lloyd-Biston.

Designers: Callum Rothwell,
Jordan Morcom, Lewis Ward

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