Swansea City Academy develops talented young footballers from the local and surrounding area from age eight to 23. Significant developments in the last few years has seen the academy grow on and off the pitch to achieve Category One status where we can recruit players of outstanding potential that can be nurtured into future first team regulars.
THE PROFILE OF BEING WALES’ ONLY CATEGORY ONE CLUB, PLUS THE SUCCESS OF PLAYING IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE FOR SEVEN CONSECUTIVE YEARS, LIFTING THE LEAGUE CUP AND PLAYING EUROPA LEAGUE FOOTBALL IN RECENT SEASONS, HAS HELPED BUILD EXCITEMENT AND ENTHUSIASM AMONG LOCAL YOUNGSTERS. AS AN ACADEMY, WE ARE EAGER TO ENSURE THAT WE PROVIDE A PATHWAY FOR MORE LOCAL PLAYERS WHO HAVE A PASSION FOR FOOTBALL TO DEVELOP THEIR SKILLS IN THE LONG-TERM FUTURE.
Committed To Developing Swansea's Future
Based in the shadow of Liberty Stadium, the Swans Academy is situated at Landore, a multi-million-pound facility where the next generation of first team players are being developed and produced from the age of nine.
Swansea is undoubtedly one of the proudest football cities in Britain. The club’s rise has been meteoric. The extent of the club’s accomplishment is reflected in the city’s immense pride of the club’s recent history with seven consecutive years in the Premier League, EFL Cup winners and reaching the last 32 in the Europa League. We want our players to understand that when they wear the club’s badge, they are representing every Swansea City player that has gone before them and that it is their responsibility to uphold the club’s well-established footballing values. We want the root of their motivation and ambition to be founded upon a desire the represent their local club and to look no further than their inner selves as a source of drive and determination.
The artwork that dominates the training ground at Landore is a constant reminder of the pride with which each of our players should carry themselves. We’ve captured the sentiments of passion held by our current Academy players, past Swansea City legends and prominent members of the local community. While fame and fortune is an undeniable bi-product of professional football, we want our players’ motivation to sit firmly in the realms of the intrinsic.
At the heart of every one of our players’ journey through our Academy are healthy relationships with our management, coaching and support staff. Our staff are in place to facilitate the growth and development of our players - and not to exert their power over them. We have created an environment in which the Academy players take significant ownership over their development as a footballer through innovative use of development planning, performance analysis and self-reflection techniques. This, in turn, places the onus on the player to retain their task focus, use their own performance and behaviour as a benchmark and ensure that they have complete consciousness of the challenges and obstacles they face. In concurrence with this innovation, our players work closely with members of the technical, Sport Science and Performance Analysis staff toward improvement goals across the four-corner model of player-development.
Through this highly individualised approach to player management and development, we have instilled a culture of attention to detail on the player’s part; they retain absolute focus and recognise how effort and work-ethic are equal to improvement and through their performance plans, have tangible mechanisms of self-improvement on a multi-disciplinary basis.
Swansea City’s mission is to become an established and sustainable Premier League team that continues to progress year on year. Crucial to our success is our playing identity and style which we recognise is key to future success. The club will be measured on the field, although we also recognise our wider responsibility and impact the club has on its local and wider community. The club works towards self-imposed targets, while also aspiring to achieve independently recognised standards.
The key stakeholders that exist to support Swansea City are primarily our supporters, although on a wider scale we recognise the value of our schools, local council, Football Association, Swansea City Community Trust, the Academy and all sponsors who have played an important role in making the club successful and sustainable.
Swansea City Academy’s mission is to nurture, promote and provide the best possible environment for young players to flourish. We recognise that not all our players will make the transition into professional footballers, in turn, we have a wider responsibility to ensure we produce young people who are educated, respectful and have the necessary life skills to be successful. Our primary focus is to develop players for our first team who are aligned to our club’s playing philosophy, showing flair, creativity and confidence to dominate possession.
Respect is a fundamental part of life at Swansea City Academy. Football generates situations of tension that have to be resolved almost instantaneously. Therefore, there is a need, above rules and standards, for this value to be present in order to guarantee effective relationship between staff, player and parents.
Effort is a value that can take us to unthinkable heights and lead us to achieve targets and objectives that may at other times appear distant or inaccessible. Effort within our academy is a fundamental principle required to maintain high standards and demonstrate your desire to wear the Swansea City shirt.
This covers a wide dimension of characteristics, but at Swansea City involves self-motivation, desire, focus, ambition and a need to learn. It requires the single mindedness and a mentality to not allow challenges, obstacles and temptations to affect any part of the person’s dream to represent Swansea City.
While Swans Academy's primary function is to develop individuals, playing and existing as part of a team is a component of any player’s developmental journey. Our vision is to create successful teams which in turn develops players’ winning mentality.
Humility is a key component of the club’s success. No one individual is bigger than the club. The people within our organisation must always defend the core values and principles of the club and show respect for staff, the community, supporters and the opposition.
5 Point Philosophy...
Our identity is critical in the development of our young players. It is vital that coaches harness belief, confidence and a no-fear environment to ensure we can continue to produce players who fit into our playing philosophy. Central to achieving this is to facilitate the player to:
- Play attractive, attacking football through playing out from the back to find the spare man.
- Construct play in order to work the ball into attacking situations using progressive possession and individual 1v1 qualities.
- Allow players to become independent decision makers within a structured framework and playing style.
- Press the ball quickly on the transition in advanced areas and use the touchline as a defender and sustain pressure on the opposition.
- Create a unique spirit where players are nurtured with discipline, work ethic and team spirit and this must be evident in every person at Swansea City Academy.
Swans Academy has a very proud history and tradition of producing some of the best young footballing talent to come out of Wales. Many have gone on to play in the Premier League or Football League.
Graduates include the likes of Kristian O'Leary, Jazz Richards, Ben Davies, David Cornell, Shaun MacDonald, Josh Sheehan, Joe Allen, Gwion Edwards, Ryan Hedges, Connor Roberts, Alex Samuel, Daniel James, Oliver McBurnie, Joe Rodon and George Byers.
Players who join our academy will start to learn the Swans culture and philosophy of the club that has helped the team grow over the last decade.
Education & Welfare...
The education programme plays an integral part in the development of our players and is of paramount importance to Swansea City. We believe in the educational potential of every player and provide a wealth of curriculum choice in order to ensure it is maximised. High quality teaching and learning is matched by a strong pastoral programme at the academy to ensure that all players are supported from the minute they sign with the academy.
We work to promote interdependence and strong learning habits which will be adopted throughout life. We believe in lifelong learning and that all young people who enter our academy programme develop in all aspects of life skills. Our aim is to make the time a player spends with us as a unique learning experience.
Our education programme is designed to accommodate full and part-time models. The part-time programme is delivered at the academy with players attending classes on a day release basis.
Players involved in our full-time education programme attend Cwmtawe Comprehensive School on a daily basis. The programme allows the players to focus on their individual footballing needs but within a very structured and extremely effective education curriculum.
“IT IS A NEVER-ENDING PROCESS AND THE LIFEBLOOD OF ANY FOOTBALL TEAM.”
How does recruitment work at Swansea City Academy?
We have a network of scouts across South Wales who look for players predominantly from under-6s to under-16s. The recommendations from scouts are selected and filtered into the local Development Centres where they begin their journey to becoming a Swansea City Academy player.
Do you run open trials?
Open trials are predominantly held for players in the Foundation Phase (U6-U11). There are no set dates for these trials as they are organised on a need-only basis. Goalkeeper and outfield player trials are held separately. All trials will be published via the website and social media channels.
What are we looking for?
Quite simply, talent. We understand that players come in all shapes and sizes, with a variety of strengths and weaknesses. We take into account a player’s technical, tactical, physical, psychological and social attributes, as well as looking at relative age effect and maturation rates. We also have to compare them to players currently in the academy to assess whether a target player has the potential to be better than the players we already have registered.
Development Centres are the third tier of our development programme, sitting just below our transition sSquads and pre-academy groups, acting as a feeder system and primary route into the academy structure. All our centres follow a specific coaching curriculum, designed by the head of coaching, which runs parallel with our academy programme and uses the same language. We currently have a number of players striving within the academy structure who have come through the Development Centre pathway.
Who to contact?
For any enquiries regarding recruitment, please contact [email protected]
Swansea City’s Landore training academy was officially opened in September 2013 by Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore. The £6 million complex is the club’s first purpose-built training ground, which includes:
- Two dedicated high-performance floodlit grass pitches.
- A full size 3G all-weather pitch and dedicated goalkeeper training area.
- Indoor barn, which includes a 3G astro-turf pitch.
- Six modern changing rooms.
- State-of-the-art sports and fitness centre, aerobics studio and physiotherapy rooms.
- Strength and conditioning facilities.
- Classrooms, offices, parents’ room and a lecture theatre with full match analysis facilities
- A dedicated cafeteria and dining hall.