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Rotherham United
Saturday 13th April 2024
Joma

 

Andy Coleman Notes

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Andy

Welcome back to the Swansea.com Stadium for our penultimate home fixture of the season against Rotherham United.

It was great to see us get back to winning ways on Wednesday night with a deserved victory over Stoke.

The intensity and aggression that the players showed from the off was extremely pleasing, and hopefully we can back that performance up with another good showing and three points.

Last week saw the club announced a fan engagement event in Bridgend on April 23, which I’m excited to attend alongside Luke Williams, Gavin Levey and Matt Grimes.

It is an opportunity for Luke and Gavin to talk about the first team and academy, whilst it will be another chance to engage with our supporters who come and watch us home and away across the season.

We are hugely grateful to Penybont FC for helping to set this up alongside the Supporters’ Trust, and I look forward to seeing some of you there.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to wish a massive good luck to two of our teams who are in cup final action over the coming days.

Swansea City Women take on Cardiff City Women in the Genero Adran Trophy final on Sunday (5.10pm) and it would be great to see as many of you there as possible at Penybont to cheer on the girls as they aim to win the competition for a third time. 

Also a huge good luck to our under-18s, who travel to Millwall next week for the final of the Professional Development Cup.

Our youngsters have had a great run to reach that final and everyone at the club wishes them well at The Den on Wednesday night (7pm).

Thank you for your continued support!

Enjoy the game,

Andy

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Luke Title Card
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Luke's Main

Welcome back to the Swansea.com Stadium for our Championship fixture against Rotherham United.

It’s been a quick turnaround from our midweek victory against Stoke City, but we want to make sure we are right at it in terms of the work-rate and effort we showed that night.

I was pretty direct in terms of how I felt after our defeat to Middlesbrough, and the elements of the game you need to bring to every performance; whether you win, lose or draw.

Our energy, intensity and aggression were far better on Wednesday night. These are the things you need to show as an absolute minimum.

We still have a lot of work to do, and a long way to go, but if we have this level of willingness to put bodies on the line and to run for each other it will give us plenty we can build on.

The message for us now, as a group, is that we cannot be at anything less than full tilt again against Rotherham.

But I believe that is a message the players are already aware of, they felt it following that Middlesbrough game.

We were able to put some things right against Stoke, but it’s important we don’t make the same mistake as we did following our win over Cardiff and let our levels drop.

Ahead of the game, I’d like to wish a true Swansea City legend a very happy 70th birthday.

I realise I have not been at the club long as head coach, but in Swansea it does not take you long to realise what an impact Alan Curtis has had on this great football club.

King Curt’s relationship with the Swans started over 50 years ago, and he has done it all. 

From being a player, to working in the club’s community programme, player development, coaching, managing and now being honorary club president; he is unquestionably one of the most important figures in our long history.

Enjoy your day, Alan!

I’d also like to take the opportunity to wish two of our teams all the best in their respective finals in the coming days.

Swansea City Women face their Cardiff City counterparts in the Genero Adran Trophy final at Penybont on Sunday, while our under-18s take on Millwall at The Den this coming Wednesday in the Professional Development League Cup final.

We know they will do this club proud, and hopefully they can bring back the silverware. Good luck to both teams!

Enjoy the game,

Luke

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Welcome back to the Swansea.com Stadium for our match against Rotherham United. 

Despite relegation for the Millers being confirmed, I am sure they will now be playing with freedom and will look to pose a threat to the Swans. 

However, I hope the Swans can build on Wednesday’s positive result against Stoke, a welcome win against one of our bogey teams.

This season has not been the best for the Swans, in terms of results or performances. However, it has given me the opportunity to reflect on the past. 

I go back to May 3 2003, the game against Hull which ensured the Swans league status with that James Thomas hat-trick. 

It was a vital result that kept the Swans in the league; if we had lost that game we could still be playing non-league football or worse still, be out of business. 

In the programme notes from that day Brian Flynn, our manager, referred to ‘the twists and turns’ of the season whilst Anthony O’Connell (now our regular commentator on Swans TV) said of the team; “They have turned a desperate mid-January situation into this final day shootout”. 

That team included Leon Britton and Roberto Martinez, who were both key personalities going forward, with Roberto introducing ‘the Swansea Way’ and Leon playing in all four divisions for us. 

Those of us who were there that day never envisaged that only eight years later we would be at Wembley, beating Reading and celebrating promotion to the Premier League. We visited the Etihad Stadium for our first Premier League fixture, a Monday evening game on Sky when the Swans were proudly led out by the one and only Alan Tate. 

The programme notes acknowledged our rapid rise and said “theirs is a story to inspire any club that may be struggling in League Two today”. 

As predicted, we lost the match (4-0) but I felt positive driving home that night and had a feeling that we would be okay for the rest of the season. 

The experts and many of our own fans expected a rapid return to the Championship. 

But we stayed there for seven years, giving us many highlights, including holding our own and winning against the top teams. 

We spoiled Louis van Gaal’s first match in charge of Manchester United in August 2014 by winning at Old Trafford. Then there was the strangest away-end crowd I have experienced at Arsenal in March 2016 – London tourists seemed to outnumber the Swans fans and I was asked for a selfie with someone who wanted to have his photo taken with ‘a real Swansea fan’ (I was proudly wearing my Swans top).

There was the League Cup win and the subsequent European adventure. The highlight for me was the 3-0 win at the Mestalla in Valencia, when we were so high up in the stand that I had to text home to get the team news. 

The Swansea fans took over the main city square for a few days. In St Gallen the game was less memorable, although some of the fancy dress certainly was, and the less said about Naples the better.

Not only was the result not what we wanted, but the transport to the match saw the Swansea supporter  buses deliberately taken on a long route and arrive late at the stadium. 

There are so many wonderful memories, and I now have a room covered in 50 years of football programmes that I have been reading through as I write these notes.

As Swans fans, we have had fewer positive memories in recent years, but overall, the past 20 years has been an exceptionally successful period for our football club and I hope I can see the Swans return to the top-flight for a third time. 

In less successful times please remember how well this club of ours has done, come on the Jack Army, shout ‘loud and proud’ and get behind Luke and the boys for the rest of this season and going forward.

If you want to learn more about the work of the Trust please come and see us at the Supporters’ Trust Pod, next to the club shop, before any home match. 

You can also join the Trust online at https://www.swanstrust.co.uk/join-the-trust/. Alternatively, email us at supporters@swanstrust.co.uk.

Enjoy the game YJBs.

Di Hughes 

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CURT

“Gratitude. Pride. Togetherness.”

Alan Curtis MBE pauses for a moment as he reflects on the three words he uses to sum up what Swansea City means to him.

The honorary club president has seen it all over more than 40 years of service to the Swans.

Player, community officer, youth-team coach, first-team coach, caretaker manager, loan manager, club president; these are just some of the roles he has held across an illustrious career in the black and white.

But he is clear on which one of that trio of words carries the greatest weight.

“Whenever we have had togetherness, I have always felt we can do something special,” says Curtis, who will turn 70 on April 16.

“I have experienced relegations and difficult times, but I feel when we have needed to do something or to achieve something, then that togetherness has underpinned everything. 

“It’s a massive part of the club, when you have it, it’s incredibly powerful.”

Curtis would certainly know.

He is the connecting line between the two greatest golden eras in the 112-year history of Swansea City.

When John Toshack’s side built on the foundations laid by Harry Griffiths and went all the way from the bottom tier to the top-flight, Curtis was there for most of the rise, and part of the team that sealed promotion to the First Division on that historic afternoon at Deepdale in 1981 and that went on to top the English football pyramid at times the following season.

Fast forward 30 years, and he was there again, part of the first-team set-up as promotion to the Premier League was sealed in dramatic circumstances under the Wembley arch, before returning to the famous venue again for Capital One Cup success in 2013.

There have been innumerable special moments, but Curtis acknowledges that those from his playing days carry the most resonance.

“To be part of those times was so special,” he says.

“If you were to ask me which was the better one, the first thing I would say is that there is nothing like playing.

“Being on the pitch was like freedom to me, to be out there playing. I have always said to people that you should play as long as you can because you are a long time out of that.

“When you play you are expressing yourself and, if the game is not going well, it’s within your power to change things. You can do something about it.

“Coaching is the next best thing but, really – aside from maybe substitutions – you don’t have that power and control to change a game. The players do that and that’s why playing is such a wonderful thing.

“For example, I vividly remember my final league game for the club against Bolton at The Vetch. I looked up at the big clock and the time was 20 to five, and games used to finish pretty much bang on that time and I felt like my career flashed before my eyes.

“I was lost in my own world for a minute or two with that realisation that it was over, that was it. You feel that because you know what you are losing, all those amazing experiences and feelings, that companionship with the other players.

“When I reflect on it all, one of the things that stands out to me is the players and teams the club had who never got there.

“If you stop and think of teams that had players like Ivor Allchurch, Cliff Jones, Len Allchurch, Mel Nurse, Mel Charles, Harry Griffiths. They were household names, and they got close at times, but it wasn’t until 1981 that we got there.

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“So, when you put it in that context, you really realise how special it has been to experience that as a player and a coach.”

“But the playing side was the best period of my life, even if the reality of going to the Premier League and winning a major trophy maybe felt bigger because of the attention and focus there was on those games.”

Curtis will make an appearance on the Swansea.com Stadium pitch ahead of Saturday’s game against Rotherham to mark his upcoming birthday and acknowledge the years of magnificent service he has given Swansea City.

But he admits the more than half a century he has been with the club feels like it has flown by.

“I do find myself stopping and realising that when I first came down to the club I was 17 years of age, which means I have been involved with Swansea City for 53 years,” he says with a chuckle.

“That’s not been continuous but that’s how it started and I find it incredible, because it certainly doesn’t feel like it’s been 53 years and I have had some time off for good behaviour!

“I’ve had a lot of different jobs, but I could never have imagined I would still be at the club in some capacity. 

“There have been some tremendous times, and the highs far outweigh the lows or any disappointments.

“The club has come so far in that time. It’s a special place and it has been the biggest thing in my life outside of my family and friends.”

To mark Alan’s 70th birthday we asked him to pick out some of his favourite Swansea City moments and people from his time at the club. 

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Alan Curtis

Best goal for Swansea City

“It has to be the goal against Leeds. It is the goal most people want to talk about. 

“It does make me laugh how many people come and tell me they saw my hat-trick in that game, but it was Bob Latchford who had a hat-trick, I think people confuse it because my goal gets played so much.

“I used to correct people, but I tend to let it go these days!

“I had a tough time at Leeds with a bad knee injury and being out for nine months. It had been a big decision to leave but they were a massive club, the support was incredible. It just didn’t work out.

“It was not that I had a point to prove when the fixtures came out and they were our first game as a top division club, but you always want to do well against your old club with most of the players being teammates of mine six or seven months before.

“But the whole day was fantastic. The Vetch was packed, the weather was brilliant and it seemed everything seemed to fit and click into place.

“The only thing was we all stayed in a hotel in Porthcawl on the Friday because Tosh wanted us all together, this then meant we had to travel down Fabian Way to get to the ground and, on a Saturday, it was packed, and packed with Leeds supporters. 

“The plan was to get to the Vetch nice and early, but we ended up rushing and getting there around 2pm, but it actually worked out well because we got changed, had a quick warm-up and were ready to go.

“I do remember my hands were shaking with nerves until I got out there, and everyone will tell you the same thing; the period just before kick-off is a horrible time, all the self-doubts creep in, but once you get out on the pitch and you get your first touch of the ball the adrenaline kicks in and you are away.

“It was such a great day and to score just capped it off.”

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Best teammate 

“It would have to be Robbie James. He could play anywhere. He was primarily a midfield player, but he could play out wide or up front and - in his prime - he could also play centre-half or full-back. 

“His strength was his strength, if you like. He wasn’t the quickest but he used to use his body well, he had a cannonball of a right foot and he would be able to score from 25 or 30 yards. 

“He was good in the air, and he could honestly do anything, he rarely got injured.

“He was not the best trainer but as soon as he got onto the pitch he was non-stop for 90 minutes. I played with a number of great players like Leighton James, Jeremy Charles, Eddie Gray at Leeds but Robbie would clearly be the number one.”

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Robbie James

Best Swans manager during your playing career

John Toshack. I don’t think he ever did a coaching badge. He said everything he learned was from Liverpool so training was always intense.

“He would change things like making sure we all had our own training kit instead of fighting over it, and he just made it more professional and would keep us together to go for food in town and things like that. He understood the importance of togetherness.

“People forget because he came in as a player-manager and for the first couple of years he still played a lot and it was like signing a First Division striker.

“The older he got he would obviously play less, but the experience he picked up meant he would change the shape of the team a lot. He was astute tactically.

“The majority of teams at that time would be 4-4-2 or 4-2-4 with two wingers, one big striker and one small striker, two midfield players. But Tosh changed it, we would play five at the back and have full-backs really push up the pitch.

“He would just chop and change and was prepared to experiment with things. Some teams didn’t know how to play against him tactically. We had good players and we knew that but he would change things in the game if we had to. 

“Tosh had an aura about him, he was a big man and would walk into the changing room and we would all be talking, but as soon as he walked in we would shut up.

“He had that presence and the respect was there straight away. We didn’t always see eye to eye with him and he fell out with a lot of people because he demanded everything had to be spot on and he could be critical at times, but everything would be forgotten. 

“He would criticise you and then it was all said and done. It was because he wanted you to improve and get better.

“He was head and shoulders above any other manager I worked with.”

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John Toshack

Best Swans manager during your time as a coach 

“Brendan Rodgers. He was just different class, from the day he walked in. 

“He would hug everybody it wasn’t just a shake of the hands. He was a typical sort of Irishman who liked to joke and laugh, but there was a line that you would never cross, there would be times where he would explode and really dig into people. He is a lovely person, a great guy, but there is a real competitive edge to him to.

“We had a meeting every day and the training programme would be there so we knew exactly what we were doing. 

“If you were laying out an exercise or a drill he would come out and check the dimensions, and if you hadn’t put it right he would make sure it was. 

“He was very demanding, he wanted the highest-possible standards. For example if a player made a sloppy pass he would stop the session and make them do it again, but he had this fantastic sense of humour as well and knew everybody’s names. 

“Funnily enough he was manager of Watford when we played them under Roberto Martinez, I think they beat us 2-0 and in the manager’s office afterwards he came in and said ‘I want my team to play like yours’.

“His team had beaten us, but he knew that’s the way he wanted to play.

“We were the better team that day but he was humble enough to recognise it, and he had such a clear idea of what he wanted to do. That’s always stuck with me.”

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Brendan Rogers with Play-off trophy

 

Best player you coached

“I think it would be Gylfi Sigurdsson. Just the way he dedicated himself to the game. 

“For example, he would always work after training, even on Christmas Day when most wanted to go home as quickly as possible to spend time with your family. 

“But he would grab a bag of balls and stay for an hour extra, he would practice with both feet, free-kicks from both sides and centrally, and penalties. 

“You would then drill balls into him where he would take a touch and finish, but you didn’t mind because he was the most likely to score in those situations in the next game because of the work he had put in.

“In terms of dedication and the way he applied himself I would say it has to be him. 

“It’s such a hard question because there were so many great players, even though he would cost me a couple of hours on Christmas Day!”

 

Best moment with the Swans as a player or coach

“I am going to contradict what I said earlier now because, while I loved my time as a player, I think getting promoted against Reading was the best moment.

“It meant so much to everybody and the build-up to the day, driving into Wembley and seeing the fans coming from everywhere. It was incredible. 

“We just knew that we couldn’t lose when we saw that. Obviously when the final whistle went it was fantastic, but I do think that arriving to the stadium was incredible. 

“We knew a lot of the people waiting there for us, as well and I think everybody was just really emotional about it. I am getting a bit emotional thinking about it, and it brings me back to the togetherness of the football club. 

“Playing for the Swans was obviously the best part, but that moment was I think the best because of how much it meant to everybody that day, and for a lot of people it was life-changing and put Swansea on the map.”

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Nathan Dyer

Biggest disappointment

“Both relegations from the top flight were hard. I just don’t think it was our time to go down with either of them.

“I always had at the back of my mind that the Premier League was going to catch up with us eventually, but when we went down we should never have gone down, I think we still had a couple of seasons left in the Premier League.

“I would say exactly the same for the First Division days as a player. We didn’t have a big squad, and having a load of injuries we just didn’t have the squad to keep us going at the time. 

“Even then we still had enough of a nucleus to stay up and regroup, but obviously there was no Sky Sports money in those days and then by the second season we were practically giving players away.

“That was difficult but those would be the two most disappointing moments at the club just because of how hard we worked to get there. 

“But, as I said earlier, the highs have far outweighed any lows during my time with the club.

“I cannot believe it has been so long, but I’ve loved it, even in the tough times. There’s no denying how special the club is to me.”

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The seven most important people during your time at the club. 

Harry Griffiths – He laid the foundations for Tosh’s team.

John Toshack  - The best manager I played under.

Roberto Martinez – He really started the way of playing that took us to the Premier League.

Brendan Rodgers – A brilliant coach and a great person.

Huw Jenkins – The architect behind our rise through the divisions.

The local lads from the 1981 team – I know I’m cheating a bit here, but playing with the likes of Robbie James, Leighton James, Jeremy Charles, Wyndham Evans, Nigel Stevenson, Dudley Phillips. It was such a special part of my career.

Herbie Williams – He gave me great advice when I was coming through as a young player. He told me how to look after myself.

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Harry Griffiths
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Kelloggs

An update from the Swans Foundation

A team of Swansea City AFC Foundation Premier League Kicks participants has reached the national finals of the PL Kicks Cup at St George's Park.

The Kicks Cup is an under-16 tournament which gives programme attendees the opportunity to represent their local club and compete against teams from club community organisations across the country.

Swans Foundation entered a team for both the mixed and girls' categories in the south-west regional finals, which were hosted by Swindon Town FC Community Foundation.

In addition to the football tournament, all participants took part in an informative workshop run by the Premier League.

The Foundation’s girls' team scored with the final kick of their semi-final to book their place in the day’s final, and also secure their spot at the PL Kicks Cup national finals at the England national teams' St George’s Park base. That tournament will be held in July.

“It was a massive opportunity for everyone ” said Craig Richards, youth engagement manager at Swansea City AFC Foundation.

“The mixed team did really well, they had a lot of tough games but they stuck together, so we’re proud of them for that.

“The girls will enjoy the opportunity to travel to the national finals and represent the Swans again.

"To go to St George’s Park will be something so special for them that they can remember forever.”

Celyn and Lucy played their part in the girls' team’s success, and can’t wait for the next stage of the competition.

“I really enjoyed because it’s been so nice to play against different teams, and representing the Swans has been amazing,” said Lucy.

“It’s been an honour to wear this kit and we’ve got to meet new people, so that’s been really good."

Celyn added: “My favourite part has to be the semi-final because it was so competitive and everyone wanted to win.”

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Rotherham

As Swansea City prepare to host Rotherham United, we take a closer look at the Millers.

WHAT'S THEIR STORY?

Rotherham United were established in 1925 after the merger of disbanded teams Rotherham County and Rotherham Town. 

Their highest league finish came in the 1954-55 season, when they finished third in Division Two, narrowly missing out on promotion on goal difference.

The Millers were promoted to the Championship in 2018, 2020 and 2022, but were relegated in 2019 and 2021 before Matt Taylor kept them in the second tier last term. 

However, they will return to League One next season with their relegation already confirmed ahead of the final handful of games.

HOW'S THEIR FORM?

The Millers have endured a tough campaign, winning just four of their 42 league games so far this season.

The most recent of those wins came on April 1 against Millwall, and ended a wait for victory that had stretched all the way back to a Boxing Day win over Middlesbrough.

Rotherham's away record has been miserable, and they have not won on their travels in any competition since November 2022.

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Gaffer
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Richardson

Leam Richardson was appointed as Millers boss in December 2023, replacing Matt Taylor as head coach.   

A Blackburn academy graduate, Richardson played for Bolton Wanderers, Notts County, Blackpool and Accrington Stanley over a 16-year playing career.

While at Stanley, Richardson was appointed caretaker manager after John Coleman departed to join Rochdale. Richardson was then given the job on a permanent basis eight months later, when Paul Cook left for Chesterfield. 

In 2013, he followed Cook to become assistant manager at Chesterfield, with both then moving to Portsmouth in 2015; gaining promotion to League One in 2017. 

Richardson's next head coach role came in 2020, he initially took charge of the Latics on a caretaker basis before taking full-time charge.

He went on to won the 2021-22 EFL Manager of the Season award after leading Wigan to promotion, finishing the season as champions of League One.

Richardson was sacked by Wigan in November 2022, but returned to the game with the south Yorkshire club.

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The Captain
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Esuo

Sean Morrison was named club captain at the start of the 2023-24 season, replacing Richard Wood who had left the club at the expiration of his contract. 

Morrison started his career at Swindon Town, winning the club’s Young Player of the Year award in his first full season, The central defender had a loan spell at Southend United before Reading activated Morrison’s release clause in 2011.

Morrison only made 38 league appearances for the Royals, having two loan spells at Huddersfield Town, before moving to south Wales with Cardiff City in 2014. 

The defender joined the Bluebirds for a fee of around £3 million, and he was named club captain the following season. 

Morrison made over 270 league appearances in south Wales, scoring 33 goals, he skippered the Cardiff side that won promotion to the Premier League during the 2017-18 season.

He was also part of the 2020-21 Championship team of the season when the Bluebirds reached the play-offs.

Morrison left the Bluebirds in January 2023, joining the Millers on a short-term deal which was then extended last summer.

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Odoffin

Hakeem Odoffin has a WhoScored.com rating of 6.80 which is the highest amongst the Rotherham squad.

He is the club’s joint-top goalscorer with four goals this season, and has played over 2,500 minutes this term for the Millers. 

The 6ft 3in defender can be dangerous in the box with his height, making him a good fit for the Millers approach.

The defender started his career at Barnet, going on to have spells with Wolves, Eastleigh, Northampton, Livingston and Hamilton, before joining the Millers in 2021. 

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Johan

Goalkeeper Viktor Johansson has been an integral figure for the Millers since joining the club in 2020. 

Having played in the Hammarby and Aston Villa academies, he also had a spell at Leicester City before joining the Millers in 2020.

The Swede picked up 27 clean sheets during their promotion campaign in the 2021-22 campaign, also being part of the side that won the EFL Trophy during the same season.

Johansson represented Sweden at under-17, under-19 and under-21 levels. He received his first call-up to the senior team during March 2023 for the Uefa Euro 2024 qualifying matches against Belgium and Azerbaijan, making his debut in the following October in a 3-1 friendly win against Moldova. 

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Eaves

Forward Tom Eaves is - along with Odoffin - the other Rotherham player with four goals this season.

Having spells in the Crewe Alexandra and Oldham Athletic academies, Eaves has played for numerous clubs throughout the EFL including Bolton Wanderers, Bristol Rovers, Shrewsbury Town, Rotherham United, Yeovil Town, Bury, Gillingham and Hull City before re-joining the Millers in 2022. 

Swans fans will have not so fond memories of him scoring a last-gasp equaliser for Hull in a 4-4 draw with the Tigers during the 2019-20 season.

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Elwyn Hughes

Versatile Englishman Emlyn Hughes had an illustrious career with Liverpool before finishing his playing days at the Swans in the mid-1980s.

Starting his career at Blackpool, his all-action style soon was brought to the attention of Liverpool boss Bill Shankly and he would go on to become one of the Reds’ greatest-ever captains.

Hughes made over 650 appearances for the Reds, skippering the club to their first European Cup, two Uefa Cup, three top-flight titles and one FA Cup. 

In total he won 13 pieces of silverware for the Anfield club.

He was named the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year in 1977, and made 62 appearances for England, captaining his country on a number of occasions.

Hughes joined Wolverhampton Wanderers after leaving Liverpool, helping the side win a League Cup during his first season at Molineux. 

During the later part of his career, he played for Rotherham United - as a player-manager - Hull City, and a had brief spell at Mansfield Town before joining the Swans in the 1983-84 season. 

Hughes sadly passed away in 2004 at the age of 57.

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Kelloggs
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Stoke Report

Goals from Liam Cullen, Matt Grimes and Josh Key saw Swansea City return to winning ways with a comprehensive victory over Stoke City at the Swansea.com Stadium.

Swansea City: Carl Rushworth, Josh Key (Azeem Abdulai 79), Jay Fulton (Liam Walsh 77), Ben Cabango, Harry Darling, Matt Grimes (captain), Jamie Paterson (Aimar Govea 79), Josh Tymon, Liam Cullen (Charlie Patino 83), Ollie Cooper (Jamal Lowe 69), Ronald. 

Unused Substitutes: Andy Fisher, Jerry Yates, Mykola Kuharevich, Bashir Humphreys

Stoke City: Daniel Iversen, Enda Stevens (Lewis Baker 79), Michael Rose, Wouter Burger (Jordan Thompson 63), Andre Vidigal, Niall Ennis (Tyrese Campbell 63), Ji-Jana Hoever, Bae Junho (Luke Cundle 46), Luke McNally, Josh Laurent (captain), Million Manhoef (Mehdi Leris 63).

Unused Substitutes: Jack Bonham, Ben Wilmot, Sead Haksabanovic, Junior Tchamadeu.

Referee: Keith Stroud

Attendance: 14,692

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“It’s Key! Where did he come from? Swansea City can now almost touch safety. They are hitting the 50-point mark. Normally, that’s good enough.”

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Josh Key vs Stoke

So said the match commentator on Sky Sports when the third goal went in against Stoke City, courtesy of Josh Key’s furtive run and fine finish. 

Wednesday evening’s victory over the Potters produced three goals and three points - a proper six-pointer in every which way. 

Kudos to the fans who turned out to the Swansea.com Stadium in horrible conditions to act as the 12th player, and let’s hope that although the win might be enough to ensure survival, the remaining games produce the same results and performance.

No-one likes the ‘r’ word. Relegation is something fans agonise over. We all know how long the bitter taste left by dropping down from the Premier League has lasted – six years and counting.

Today, Rotherham have the odious task of completing one of their last games in the Championship before they begin the new campaign in League One. Sympathy to their supporters but, for us, another opportunity to help absolutely guarantee safety.

It’s tight at the bottom of this league again this year and getting further away from the squeeze is essential.

And, while Rotherham have nothing but pride to play for, I refer back to that match on May 13, 2018 when an already relegated Stoke City beat us 2-1 to rubber-stamp our own exit from the top-flight.

Yes, there was only a tiny chance that other factors would go in our favour - like a win from us and Manchester City putting 10 past Southampton – but my point is that relegated sides don’t necessarily see these as ‘nothing to play for’ games.  Pride matters - and it gets results.

This unpredictable and highly competitive league might not be our home of choice, but we look set to be in residence in it for another season and hoepfully a better campaign lies ahead next year.

Meanwhile, Swansea City Women ended their league campaign in second place in the Genero Adran Premier. They drew 0-0 away to Aberystwyth Town in the final game of the season – their first goalless draw since December 2021 – which was also against Aberystwyth.

But it isn’t all over for the Swans just yet, the Genero Adran Trophy final against Cardiff City Women takes place tomorrow, (Sunday, April 14) at the SDM Glass Stadium in Penybont.

We all know how entertaining a derby is and it would be superb to see the place packed out with supporters.

The Swans beat The New Saints Women 5-1 to get to the final, thanks to a Stacey John-Davis hat-trick as well as goals from Emily Thomas and Sammy Wynne – and Sunday sees them facing familiar foes.

There have been a remarkable five meetings of the two sides this season already, with the Bluebirds winning three of them. The Swans will go into the game with the confidence which comes from knowing they’ve taken the trophy twice already. Let’s hope three turns out to be a magic number. 

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Erthyglau Cymreag

 

Gydag ychydig gemau yn unig yn weddill y tymor hwn, bydd cefnogwyr yr Elyrch eisiau anghofio ei fod erioed wedi digwydd unwaith bydd yr haf yn dechrau.

Ychydig iawn o uchafbwyntiau sydd wedi bod, a digon o gemau ac atgofion i gyfri ar fwy na dwy law. Ond pa wersi gall yr Elyrch cymryd o’r tymor hwn?

Yn gyntaf, cysondeb gemau cartref. Yn rhy aml eleni mae’r Elyrch wedi bod yn euog o ollwng pwyntiau yn Stadiwm Swansea.com. Ar fwy nag un achlysur eleni mae’r Elyrch wedi ildio goliau yn y 10-15 munud olaf o gemau, sydd wedi eu cosbi pan mae’n dod i adeg yma’r tymor. 

Yn amlwg dyw hwn ddim bob tro yn digwydd achos diffyg paratoi neu dactegau gwael, weithiau mae’n gallu bod yn lwc sydd ond yn naturiol yn y byd pêl-droed. Ond fyddai Abertawe yn saff erbyn hyn os nad oeddynt wedi ildio goliau yn hwyr ar gae eu hunain.

Yn ail, gwneud defnydd o dalent ifanc. Rydym wedi gweld ar hyd y blynyddoedd bod chwaraewyr sydd yn dod trwy system ieuenctid Abertawe yn gallu chwarae ar y lefel yma ac yn uwch. 

Connor Roberts, Joe Rodon, Dan James ac Oli McBurnie yw rhai enwau sy’n dod i’r cof, ac mae rhai chwaraewyr ifanc y tymor hwn wedi dangos bod nhw’n gallu dilyn yn eu camau. 

Yn ddiweddar mae Aimar Govea wedi dangos ei fod yn asgellwr addawol iawn, ac Azeem Abdulai hefyd yn ymddangos fel wingback. Trwy roi profiad i’r chwaraewyr yma bydden nhw ond yn gwella ac rydym wedi gweld bod gwneud hynny’n llwyddiannus yn y gorffennol.

Ac yn olaf, gwneud defnydd da o’r cyfnod trosglwyddo. Dwi’n meddwl bydd bron pob un cefnogwr yn dadlau bod cyfnod trosglwyddo'r haf wedi bod yn aflwyddiannus ar y cyfan. 

Roedd nifer o chwaraewyr wedi arwyddo i’r clwb, a rhai ohonynt heb lenwi eu potensial na chwarae gymaint ag roedd cefnogwyr yn eu disgwyl. Roedd 'na rhai trosglwyddiadau cadarnhaol, gan gynnwys Ronald er enghraifft, sydd wedi bod yn wych ar yr asgell ers iddo ymuno ym mis Ionawr. 

Ond bydd llygaid barcud ar symudiadau’r cyfnod trosglwyddo yn yr haf, a bydd cefnogwyr eisiau gweld chwaraewyr bydd yn chwarae i’r clwb ac yn chwarae o’r safon ddisgwyliedig.

Yn bersonol dwi’n edrych ymlaen at weld Luke Williams yn cael pre-season llawn gyda’r garfan a dewis y chwaraewyr sydd yn dod i’r clwb a gadael y clwb yn yr haf. Mae’n nabod y clwb a’i hanes ac yn ceisio chwarae ‘The Swansea Way’, a bydd pre-season llawn ond yn helpu datblygu hwnnw. 

Nid yw ein statws yn y Bencampwriaeth yn ddiogel eto, a gobeithio bydd Luke Williams a’r bois yn gallu sicrhau ein statws yn y gynghrair yn y gemau nesa.

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 defender or midfielder Jon Ford.

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Jon Ford

Jon Ford was born in Stourbridge in 1968, playing for Redhill School before signing at the age of 16 with Halesowen Town club. 

After three seasons at the club he moved to Bromsgrove, and later joined Crawley Town where his game flourished.

His performances caught the eye of Swansea City manager Frank Burrows who, with his  understanding of the non-league market and eye for a bargain, signed Jon and his teammate John Williams in a combined deal worth £10,000 to the Midlands club. 

This would prove to be a shrewd piece of business on behalf of the club, with both players earning the Swans large transfer fees when they moved on from the Vetch Field, and with Ford having played in over 200 first-team games in SA1.

He made his debut for the Swans in the opening home fixture against Bolton Wanderers at the beginning of the 1991-92 season and, during his opening campaign in the Football League, would only miss one league game all season. 

Ford became the epitome of a utility player, featuring in defence or midfield throughout the campaign.

His second season saw the player continue to cement his place in the first team, and he would finish the season with an impressive 55 appearances, including in the two legs of the play-off semi-final defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

Ford continued to be an important player and, when the Swans made their historic first-ever appearance at Wembley in the Autoglass Trophy final against Huddersfield Town, he would come off the bench as the silverware was secured after a penalty shootout.

A remarkable 62 further outings would follow in the 1994-95 season – including every league game – but Ford would exit the Vetch to join Bradford City in July 1995, with the £210,000 fee earning Cradley Town a welcome windfall via a sell-on clause.

His time at Valley Parade was not a successful one for Jon. He only made 26 appearances before Gillingham paid £15,000 to take him to Kent.

However, he was soon on the move again, first to Barnet and then back home to the West Midlands with Kidderminster Harriers, then Telford United and Halesowen Town.

A stint with Bromsgrove Rovers saw him become joint-manager alongside Garry Heckett. They would achieve promotion but be controversially sacked.

They worked together again at Stourbridge from 2003 to 2005, when Ford stood down to step away from the game and focus on the running of Ford Installations, a successful pallet racking and shelving installation enterprise, although he has remained involved with the club for a number of years.

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Jack the Lad

 

I’m writing this ahead of the Stoke City game, so technically the Swans are still in need of points to ensure they stay up.

However, I’m going to take a bit of a break from any worries surrounding league positions and look ahead to a fixture being played after the league season ends.

It is a match that puts footballing concerns into some perspective, due to the tragic reasons behind it being organised. 

But it is also a fixture which will bring some light relief at the end of what has been a difficult season.

For the above reasons, I hope the event on May 11 will attract huge support from the Jack Army.

I am, of course, talking about the Wales v England charity match to be played at the Swansea.com Stadium next month.

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The game has been organised in aid of two charities aiming to raise awareness of childhood cancer, and funds for much-needed medical treatment and equipment.

Swansea-based charity Joseph’s Smile and English charity The Bradley Lowery Foundation were set up by two families touched by childhood cancer.

Joseph Yeandle, a Swans fan from Brynamman, and Sunderland supporter Bradley Lowery both courageously battled neuoblastoma before passing away aged three and six respectively. 

Joseph’s story captured the hearts of Swans fans and the wider community as his parents launched a fundraising campaign for the youngster’s cancer fight. 

In 2021, the then-Swans midfielder Korey Smith visited Joseph as part of the club’s Christmas Surprises with Westacres initiative.

While the friendship between Jermaine Defoe, who will be playing in the Wales v England match, and young Bradley Lowrey is surely one of the most heartwarming football stories of recent years.

The boys’ mothers, Katy Yeandle and Gemma Lowery, worked tirelessly to raise funds to access treatment in the USA but heartbreakingly, despite their efforts, neither of the youngsters made it there.

Having set up charities in their children’s names, the two families have united for the football match in order to raise awareness and much needed funds for other families facing similar challenges.

As well as supporting such worthwhile charities, the match provides an opportunity for Swans fans to see some much-loved former players gracing the Swansea.com Stadium pitch once again.

Seeing Leon Britton and Nathan Dyer representing England will go a little way to putting right an international injustice. Both were overlooked by the Three Lions at the height of their powers in the Premier League with the Swans.

The pair were mentioned in dispatches by the England management, but neither were ever called up for the senior team.

If only football had rugby union’s residency laws, both would have been welcomed with open arms into the Wales camp I’m sure. 

Other former Swans players who have been announced for the match - amongst a host of other sports stars and celebrities - include Owain Tudur Jones, Andy Robinson, Shaun MacDonald, Bayo Akinfenwa and former skipper Ashley Williams.

Seeing Ash donning his boots again won’t just bring back Swans memories, but will also rekindle some of those wonderful Wales achievements of the summer of 2016.

This will be enhanced by Swansea’s own Chris Coleman taking charge of the Wales team, just as he did in France when he and Ash led the boys to the semi-finals of the Euros. He’ll also be joined in the dugout by Swans legend Alan Curtis.

Dafydd Iwan, who was born in Joseph’s home village of Brynaman, will provide pre-match entertainment. The legendary folk singer will be joined by opera singer Rhys Meirion. 

Fair enough, as is often the case with charity matches, it may not be a match for the absolute football purists with an array of stars from various sports and entertainments involved. 

Some hardcore football fans may not be entirely happy with the inclusion of some rugby players in the line-ups. While I won’t have a clue who some of the reality TV stars are!

But I can assure you that one or two of the ‘egg-chasers’ due to take part may surprise you with their footballing skills.

I had the misfortune of facing a teenage Shane Williams in a Neath and District Football League match many years ago, before he made his name as an international rugby superstar.

One particular incident in the match is burned into my memory forever – and not in a good way. 

It happened inside the opposition half when Cwmaman United’s very own baby-faced assassin was approaching me with the ball at his feet, close to the touchline. 

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Shane

He was still around 15 yards away when he pushed the ball 20 yards past me along the touchline and set off after it – as if passing to himself. 

‘You cheeky little so and so,’ I thought to myself. ‘You’ll never get to that before me. I’ve got a 15-yard start!’ 

Before these foolish thoughts had passed through my mind, Shane was already alongside me, having devoured my advantage in the blink of an eye. 

By the time I had turned and got into my stride, the little winger was disappearing into the distance with the ball once again at his feet.

To say I gave chase would be technically true, but generous in the extreme. Yes, I ran after him, but it wasn’t a contest. 

We were moving in the same direction, but that was where any similarity ended. 

He was gliding at speed, I was floundering and stumbling in the unmistakable style of a man trying to run faster than his legs could ever hope to carry him. 

It ended, inevitably, with me overbalancing, and sprawling flat on my face. When I looked up through the mud and grass my nose had ploughed from the sodden pitch, I expected to see Shane crossing to a colleague for an inevitable goal. 

Fortunately, none of his teammates could keep up with him either and with no-one to get on the end of his cross, his touchline run eventually ended in vain.

And I have a feeling Shane’s former Ospreys and Wales teammate James Hook is the type of sportsman who is irritatingly good at every ball game he turns his hand (or foot) to.

You remember the type at school. The ones who were equally good at football, rugby, cricket, tennis and would also clean up on the track at sports day. 

I would have been delighted to have been half decent at just one of the above!

So, whatever happens between now and the end of the season league wise, let’s look forward to what promises to be a wonderfully-entertaining and thoroughly deserving fund-raising occasion next month.

Tickets are available from the Swans website.

C’mon you Swans!

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Cotterill

Joel Cotterill has urged Swansea City Under-21s not to let their performance levels dip after scoring nine goals and keeping a pair of clean sheets across their last two games.

Wales Under-21 international Cotterill scored a brace against Fleetwood Town in the 4-0 victory for the Swans at Landore on Monday, netting a fantastic freekick in the first half before unleashing a thunderous shot from distance after the break.

The victory backed up last week's 5-0 win at Watford, and stretches Swansea's unbeaten home record to 18 Professional Development League games going back to November 2022.

And midfielder Cotterill - who spent the first half of the season on loan at Stockport - wants the Swans to keep standards high and make sure they finish the season strongly.

“Coming off a 5-0 win against Watford and playing the way we played, I think we had the momentum going into this game, and having the clean sheet made us hungry for more,” he said.

“We knew how they would like to play but I think we dealt with it well, and coming off another good performance I couldn’t ask any more of the boys.

“The coaches ran us through stuff in training and I think we matched them up perfectly, we stopped every threat they had.

"We have some good momentum now, we've had two really good results and performances, but we have to make sure we step on from here and keep those levels high."

Cotterill felt his brace had been coming, and revealed how extra work on the training ground to hone his free-kick technique had paid off.

“The free kick was a no brainer for me to take, a few of the boys practice them in training but I have been practicing for a while," he said.

"I saw the goalkeeper's position was almost behind the wall, it left the right side open for me and I tried to put it as far as I could in the corner, and thankfully it came off."

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James Taylor

In just a few short weeks, former Swansea City Youth player James Taylor will fulfil a lifelong dream of travelling to a major international tournament as part of the Wales set-up; a goal that had looked to be nearly impossible to achieve just 12 months ago.

Taylor's journey to this summer's European Deaf Football Championships started at the age of just two when he was diagnosed profoundly deaf in his left ear after contracting Mumps, but it never stopped him from pursuing his football aspirations. 

He joined up with Ron Walton's youth development side - where clu great Alan Curtis would also be part of the coaching staff - at the Swans in the late 1990s, after the former Swansea caretaker manager scouted 16-year-old Taylor playing at grassroots level.

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James taylor

Now, Taylor - who hails from Port Talbot -  is campaigning to raise money to help fund the squad's journey to Turkey as they get set to take on the continent's best. 

Taylor will be interviewed at half-time during today's match, but you can read more about his journey from the Swans Academy to the European stage here.

 

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Wales Deaf Football

 

Playing football for Swansea City has given Sophie Brisland-Hancocks any number of special moments and experiences over the years, but none more important than meeting her wife Kate.

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Sophie and Kate Brisland-Hancocks

Midfielder Brisland-Hancocks is in her second spell with the Swans, having returned to the club from Cardiff Met last summer, shortly after getting married to Kate.

The club gave Brisland-Hancocks her first senior opportunity, the chance to win silverware and experience Champions League football, play at the Swansea.com Stadium and have her – now elongated – name on the back of her jersey.

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Sophie Brisland-Hancocks Swans Women

And that last item on that list carries particular resonance given it was through Swansea City that Sophie met Kate.

“I remember the first night we met, we were training at Baglan and we were told there were two new players coming in from Cardiff Met,” says Brisland-Hancocks. 

“I remember Kate and another player walking down the steps.

“A couple of weeks had gone by, and I always remember - it’s something we still joke about to this day - I went up to her and I said something like ‘my mum says I look like Nancy from Eastenders’, because I had overheard her saying that she fancied Nancy. 

“I have no idea why I said it! There was a bit of a weird awkward laugh between us, but I always had that natural banter; she tells these stories to everyone.

“It was a few weeks later and I was just starting university at the time. I think it was the first night of freshers. We didn’t know where to go and Kate said that she knew some places.

“A couple of us girls had gone out with her, and from that moment on that was pretty much it for us, and now - eight years on - she is my wife.

“We were at university together, but it was the fact she came to the club that really started things off for us.

“It was something that definitely contributed to me coming back to Swansea last summer, the club holds a real place close to my heart because it is where I met Kate. 

“When I spoke to her about coming back to Swansea, she was a bit apprehensive, but she bought a shirt, had our name printed on it, and she’s been my number one supporter, so she holds Swansea just as close to her heart as I do.

“The club is special to us, and it means a lot to me to have Brisland-Hancocks on my shirt. 

“It’s the first thing we did which had our names on after getting married. We hadn’t changed our passports, driving licences… but I had my football shirt with both of our names on the back.

“I remember when I signed, I had a text asking what name I wanted on the back of my shirt, I asked for Brisland-Hancocks, but I knew that it was really long and might not be possible.

“Kate said that they would never be able to do it, and to just put Hancocks on the back.

“But when I came to training they told me there was a surprise for me and I saw the shirt for the first time. I sent a photo to Kate immediately and – again, she will hate me for saying this - she teared up and it was something that was really special, to have our married name on the back of my shirt.

“To be able to have the name on the back of my shirt when she’s not playing anymore, that is really special, and it emphasises the fact that the two of us have a special relationship with Swansea and we always will.”

While Brisland-Hancocks has Kate as her biggest fan, she also acknowledges that her wife’s experience in football means she can also expect some honest appraisals of her performances.

“It can be a weird thing to play for the same club as your partner, particularly because she’s a goalkeeper,” she says. 

“Goalkeepers get a lot of stick now and then so that was really challenging, especially in training, but we managed it really well.

“In training and in games we were very much teammates and then, outside of football, that would take a back seat and we concentrate on our relationship.

“But it’s great to have had those experiences together, we hold a lot of memories, we still have photos of the two of us playing together around the house so it’s something that is really close to our hearts.

“I still get that brutal honesty she had as a player from her now. I’ll ask her how I played and it’s always ‘well you did this and you should have done that’ and that was very much how we both were when we were playing together. 

“There were one or two occasions - and Kate will hate me for saying it - when she got lobbed and it was one of those moments when you get home and think ‘do I bring up that subject’, but we had that relationship where we could talk quite openly and honestly with each other.

“Kate is naturally a competitive person, I think that’s why we got on so well on the football side of it.”

Prior to her time with the Swans, Brisland-Hancocks’ football story started in Blackwood, Caerphilly.

Brisland-Hancocks is the daughter of former Newport County and Cardiff City defender Karl Hancocks, and spent her childhood kicking any item she could around the family home. She has loved football for as long as she can remember.

However, like many girls’ players at the time, there was no obvious avenue for her to play and so she started off with a local boys’ team.

“I’ve always loved football,” says Brisland-Hancocks.

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Sophie Brisland-Hancocks 2014

“I first started playing when I was six. That was because I was kicking a balloon, a ball, or anything I could turn into a ball around our house. It was driving my parents nuts, so they decided to take me to my local football club.

“My dad played so it was something that was always in the family. He played for a number of teams. He was at Newport County, he had a stint at Cardiff City as well, and did get Welsh caps at some age groups, so he had that background, and it was something that I grew up around so it was quite natural.

“I went to a boys’ team first because at the time there wasn’t any local girls’ team, I was turned down from that first boys’ club because I was a girl, then there was a club nearer to me in Pengam Boys and Girls Club.

“I wasn’t allowed to play in any of the games, I was only allowed to train with them, then I started playing games when I was eight or nine.

“I first joined a girls’ team at Caerphilly Castle Ladies which was local to me, I started to play with them on a Sunday and continued to play with the boys’ team on a Saturday.

“I did that for about a year and a half to two years, and I hit that age where I had to give up the boys’ football and focus on the women’s side of the game.

“I was in and out of different regional academies from there, I had a call up into the Welsh set-up and became involved in that. I then played for Caerphilly until I joined Troedyrhiw Ladies.”

Brisland-Hancocks would not be with Troedyrhiw for long, quickly catching the attention of Swansea City, who would invite the then 15-year-old midfielder to be a part of their squad.

Although the midfielder wasn’t able to play league fixtures until reaching 16 years of age, Brisland-Hancocks was given her first taste of women’s football as she trained with the two-time Welsh champions at the time.

“It was about 16 when I was picked up by Swansea then. I was playing for Troedyrhiw, and we were asked to come along for a training session at Baglan.

“This was my first encounter with senior women’s football at 15 years old, it was a massive shock to the system, but I signed as soon as I turned 16 and played my first game at home in Baglan.

“It was difficult because of the natural pace of the game and the increased physicality of the game, and it’s also the experience the streetwise side older players have that younger players have yet to pick up.

“It was a shock to the system, but a big positive in terms of my learning. That was huge.”

In her first spell with the club, Brisland-Hancocks would win one league title, three FAW league cups and one Adran Trophy across seven years.

She loved the experience of winning silverware, and the chance to play in the Champions League, the highest level of European club competition.

Brisland-Hancocks would travel to Romania to face off against Olympia Cluj, Hibernian and WFC Zhytlobud-2 Kharkiv and, while results did not go the way the Swans wanted, it was a time to savour.

“I always remember our first cup win and those first semi-finals and finals,” said Brisland-Hancocks.

“It felt like a huge occasion. I’d been in finals previously with my old teams and won some of them, but to do it wearing the Swansea City badge, it felt really special.

“I will never ever forget those occasions, to play against quality players and quality sides, full-time professionals, it’s something that you aspire to.

“The development across those seven years, there were signs then of things coming that have led us to the position we are in now with semi-professional contracts and incredible training facilities.”

However, after seven years with Swansea, Brisland-Hancocks decided to make the switch to then champions Cardiff Met Women.

The decision to move to a side that had been rivals with the Swans for so long was certainly not an easy one for the midfielder to make, but one she felt was crucial for her continued development in the game.

Brisland-Hancocks would spend four seasons with Cardiff Met before returning to Swansea City at the beginning of this season.

It was another difficult decision for her to make in her career, but she immediately felt back at home when stepping through the doors at Landore.

“I was really nervous when I first came back, I came to Landore to see how things were and meet with the coaching staff and I was dreading it,” says Brisland-Hancocks.

“We had a quick meeting and then I was asked if I wanted to go and see the girls in the gym and I was a bit apprehensive. 

“But I went in there and it was probably one of the best things I could have done, it broke the ice a bit and they welcomed me with open arms and I hadn’t even decided what I wanted to do at that point.

“Jess (Williams), Ellie (Lake), Stacey (John-Davis), Katy (Hosford) and Alicia (Powe) all really made me feel welcome when I returned.

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Chloe Chivers and Sophie Brisland-Hancocks v Cardiff Met

“The day I decided I would train and sign, it was really exciting for me. I made the decision quite quickly after that first encounter, I looked at the environment and felt that I wanted to be a part of something that is really special.

“I was aware that both Steph [Turner] and Robyn [Pinder] – who I had played with at Cardiff Met - were both potentially coming as well.

“When I realised that they were serious and they were signing, it was brilliant, it was a bit of a comfort blanket for me coming into an environment that I’d been away from for nearly five years.”

The most obvious change at the club upon Brisland-Hancocks’ return has been the move to semi-professional status and the Women’s team playing games at the Swansea.com Stadium.

She played the full 90 minutes in the 2-1 win over Wrexham, and relished every moment.

“It’s been fantastic, the facilities, the staff, the support we have. Compared to my last time with the club it is so much more professional,” says Brisland-Hancocks.

“When I left, we had started getting kit, we didn’t have to pay for, whilst now we are really trying to professionalise the environment.

“If I’m honest I probably haven’t got much longer left of me playing, but the fact that I’ve gone from where I began to where we are currently, it fills me with a lot of hope for our under-17s, our under-19s. There’s a bright future for young girls wanting to be involved in football.

“It’s very different from those first days in Baglan, to now using these incredible facilities at Landore twice a week.

“I remember my first experience playing at the Swansea.com Stadium for the first time with Cardiff Met, it was a sea of Swansea fans and it was a really difficult environment to play in, I will always remember it,” said Brisland-Hancocks.

“It was electrifying, the crowd and the noise they made, the number of girls that were waving their Swansea flags, as an opposition player that was really challenging.

“But back in November when the roles were reversed and I was part of that team, it was absolutely incredible.

“I got to have my niece as my mascot which was something that made me quite tearful walking out into that stadium. We had fans either side, we had my family and Kate’s family watching, I had Poppy with me and it was just fantastic to be a part of.

“After reflecting on it, it was something that I always wanted, that six-year-old girl who wanted to play football because she was kicking a balloon around the house, she got to play in a football stadium with fans cheering our names, with a family member walking onto the pitch.

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Sophie Brisland-Hancocks v Wrexham

“It’s something that I will really treasure forever.

“I’ve converted my garage into a little gym and the back wall is filled with football photos, from my time at Met with different trophies, the time at Swansea winning the Welsh Cup at the Cardiff City Stadium is there, and now there is the photo of me walking out with Poppy at the Swansea.com Stadium.

“Those are the moments that I will always look back on and treasure really fondly.

“I take a lot of pride in being part of bringing things to where it is today, I’m really passionate about our league and our club.

“I think the growth and development of the league is fantastic. I think we still have a long way to go, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. We are making the strides that are needed.”

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Memorable Match

 

Swansea City 4 - 3 Rotherham United
Championship - April 19, 2019
 
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Rotherham Memorable Match

Swansea City twice came from behind to make it six league victories in a row at the then-Liberty Stadium, with a fine second-half comeback winning a seven-goal thriller against Rotherham.

The Swans trailed early on to a Michael Ihiekwe header, and again at the break as Matt Crooks finished from close range.

Oli McBurnie had cancelled out the opener, but the Swans took control after the break as Barrie McKay, McBurnie's second and a George Byers effort put them 4-2 up.

Captain Will Vaulks smashed home to narrow the visitors' deficit but the Swans emerged victorious in a remarkable contest.

It continued Swansea's best run of home form since the 2007-08 campaign and saw Potter's men climb to 11th place in the Championship table with four games to play.

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Junior Jacks

Good afternoon Junior Jacks!

 

We hope you’ve had another good week!

 

We’re really excited for this afternoon’s game and we can’t wait to see you all in the south stand for our pre-match party.

 

We absolutely loved Wednesday evening – it rained for the whole game and that’s our favourite weather!  We also really enjoyed the game and the goals … we told you Liam Cullen would score!

 

We think he’ll score again this afternoon and we think the Swans will win 2-1. What do you think the score will be?

 

While you’re waiting for kick-off this afternoon, why don’t you test your knowledge of Championship grounds in our quiz?

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Quiz Button

 

Uppa Swans!

Cyril and Cybil

Junior Jack of the Week

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Osian

Name:
Osian

Age:
Nine

What was the first Swansea City game you attended?
Swansea v QPR in the 2021-22 season.

What is your favourite memory of watching the Swans?
I really liked Joel Piroe's free-kick v West Brom last season!

Who is your favourite Swans player and why?
Ollie Cooper - because he went to the school where my dad is Head of PE.

What do you like most about supporting Swansea City?
I like going to watch games with my dad, and we've now got season tickets.

Why did you start supporting Swansea City?
My grandfather has been a season ticket holder for years and I like football as well.

Do you play football?
Yes, I’m mainly a defender but I'll play anywhere.

Do you play any other sports?
Only what we do in school - tag rugby, gymnastics, athletics, cricket, rounders.

What is an interesting fact about you?
I have two rescue dogs - one from Serbia and one from Bosnia.

What is your favourite subject in school and why?
PE because I like sport!

Today's Mascots

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Mascots

 

Woodpecker Advert
Josh Key, Sponsored by Infinity Document SolutionsJay 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 AmmcomJosh Ginelly, Sponsored by Jones Jamie 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 Aqua GasOllie Cooper, Sponsored by TW Group
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Jameson

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.

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 Luke Williams

Andy Fisher

Josh Key

Jay Fulton

Ben Cabango

Harry Darling

Joe Allen

Matt Grimes ©

Jerry Yates

10 Jamal Lowe

11 Josh Ginnelly

12 Jamie Paterson

14 Josh Tymon

17 Przemysław Płacheta

18 Charlie Patino

19 Mykola Kuharevich

20 Liam Cullen

22 Carl Rushworth

23 Nathan Wood

24 Charlie Sagoe Jr

26 Kyle Naughton

28 Liam Walsh

29 Nathan Broome

30 Harrison Ashby

31 Ollie Cooper

33 Bashir Humphreys

35 Ronald

36 Ben Lloyd

37 Aimar Govea

40 NUMBER RETIRED

41 Sam Parker

45 Cameron Congreve

46 Ben Hughes

47 Azeem Abdulai

50 Filip Lissah

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Rotherham

Head coach Leam Richardson

1 Viktor Johansson 

3 Cohen Bramall

6 Tyler Blackett

7 Cafu

8 Sam Clucas

9 Tom Eaves

10 Jordan Hugill

11 Andre Green

12 Andy Rinomhota

14 Charlie Wyke

16 Jamie Lindsay

17 Shane Ferguson

18 Oliver Rathbone

20 Grant Hall

21 Lee Peltier

22 Hakeem Odoffin

23 Sean Morrison ©

24 Cameron Humphreys

26 Dillon Phillips

27 Christ Tiehi

28 Sebastien Revan

29 Sam Nombe

30 Arvin Appiah

33 Nat Ford

37 Joel Holvey

38 Femi Seriki

40 Peter Kioso

41 Josh Ayres

42 Ben Hatton 

Match Officials

Referee: Leigh Doughty

Assistant Referee: Blake Antrobus & Andrew Dallison

Fourth Official: James Linington

Swansea City AFC Badge

Chairman - Andy Coleman
Honorary Club President - Alan Curtis MBE

Directors

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

Chief of Staff and Head of Strategy: Ken Gude

Associate Directors: Adam Lewis.

FIRST-TEAM STAFF

Head Coach - Luke Williams

Assistant Head Coach - Ryan Harley

Assistant Head Coach – Alan Sheehan

Head of Goalkeeping – Martyn Margetson

First Team Coach Analyst - George Lawtey

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, Patrick Orme, Lewis Binns, Chris Watkins.

SENIOR MANAGEMENT GROUP

Paul Watson (Sporting Director); 
Andrew Davies (Head of Operations);
Gareth Davies (CFO).

CLUB STAFF

Club Secretary: Ben Greenwood

Head of Women's Football: Alice Weekes

Football Operations &
Administration Manager: Rebecca Gigg

Head of Commercial: Richard Morris

Head of Marketing: Katie Doyle

Head of Partnerships: Lee Merrells

Head of Hospitality, Events and Fan Engagement: Catherine Thomas

Head of Retail: Andrea Morris

Ticket Office Manager: Lewis Bullen

Head of Safeguarding: Rebeca Storer

HR Manager: Nicola Butt

Head of Media & Communications: Ben Donovan

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, Jack Otter, Dom Hynes, Sammy Wynne, Fraser Dickson, Ben Donovan, Aled Lloyd-Biston, Julie Kissick, Owen Morgan, Gwyn Rees, James Dow.

Designers: Callum Rothwell,
Jordan Morcom, Lewis Ward
Photography: Athena Picture Agency,
Natalie John-Davis, Alamy.