In my first blog post, I briefly touched on the fact that I’m a Swansea City supporter. By briefly I mean I probably babbled on a bit too much, boring those who have no interest in football at all, so if you fit into that category then maybe this post won’t be for you.
To start with I’d just like to make clear that I’m not actually from Swansea, In fact I live just 10 minutes away from Cardiff on the train. Yes I’ll repeat that, I’m a Jack living in a Cardiff postcode area. If you’re questioning why I chose to support Swansea, well I didn’t, my Dad took me to a match one day to get me out from the house and I’ve gone ever since. My Dad’s father used to take him and my Uncle to the matches so it’s just been passed down in the family.
At one time, I think I was the only Swansea fan at school, everyone else had season tickets at Cardiff and it was definitely rare to find a fellow Jack. When I first started supporting Swansea, Cardiff were the big and successful team in Wales, while we were struggling down in the lower leagues. But it was certainly a turning point for us when Swansea beat Cardiff at the Liberty in 2008 in the League cup, the first game between us since 1999. We won 1-0 and you bet I gloated about it in school, I had the bragging rights for once and it was amazing! I’ve inserted two really bad quality videos (you have been warned) below from that night that I recorded.
First Home & Away Game
I actually couldn’t remember who my first home game was, so I had to ask my Dad. He said my first home game was at The Vetch and it was against Yeovil Town in the FA Cup. I can’t really remember what time of year it was, I just remember getting my Dad to the front of the ticket queue because I was a child. I can’t even remember if we won that’s how young and uninterested I was at the time.
My first away game was at Bournemouth, it was an unusually scorching hot day in the middle of October and the sun was beating down on our fans. We won 4-1 and it was brilliant first away day for me, which lead me wanting to go to more and more.
The Best & The Worst – Home
My favourite home games have to be the South Wales derbies (Swans V Cardiff) they are huge games for us and the atmosphere is always so electrifying, you can literally feel it. The fans are up for it, the players are up for it and the crowd is always in full voice. The most memorable South Wales derby at home was last February, when Cardiff finally followed the trail we’d left behind in the Championship and got promoted to the Premier League with us. It was the game I looked for straight away when the fixtures were released and I counted down the days until February finally came around. We won 3-0 and I can honestly say it hurt to speak the next day because I sang and cheered so much. It was Monk’s first game in charge and I don’t think it could have gone any better, Cardiff then went straight back down that season which definitely did not disappoint the Swans fans.
Since being in the Premier League we’ve definitely surprised a few people with our results against the ‘big boys’. We managed to get a point against both Chelsea and Spurs at home and stole 3 points off Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal at home in our first season in the Prem, which wasn’t too bad for being relegation candidates.
The worst home match I can remember going to was Chelsea last season. We lost a demoralising 5-0. I think it was inevitable we were going to lose to them, they were soon to be Champions and played some lovely football so the defeat wasn’t so tough to swallow. There passing was so good, it felt like they had an extra man on the pitch, it was surprising that Hazard didn’t manage to steal a goal as he was most impressive throughout the match and thoroughly deserved Chelsea’s Player of the Year and Premier League Player of the Year.
The Best & The Worst – Away
I’ve been lucky to go to some cracking away games. I got to see the Swans beat United last season at Old Trafford, it definitely left me smiling all the way home to South Wales.
I went to see Swansea v Sheffield United at Bramall Lane in 2007 in the third round of the FA Cup, It was a good trip despite feeling stupidly ill, we won 3-0, with two goals from Tommy Butler and a penalty taken surprisingly by little Leon Britton due to our normal penalty takers being injured and our superstar Lee Trundle being suspended.
I’m not sure if you could count the Play-off Final in 2011 between the Swans and Reading as an away game, but for the sake of this post I’m going to anyway. A few days before the big match, I came down with tonsillitis, badly. I was prescribed penicillin and was refusing to eat, so was literally lying on my bean bag for 4 days straight losing the will to live. It looked doubtful whether I’d be well enough to go the match in London but as soon as my mother threatened to not let me go to the final, I finally got some food down me and by the next day I felt like a new person. I barely slept the night before, mainly due to the tonsillitis but partly nerves, it literally felt like I’d be stepping out onto the pitch to play in front of 80,000 people by myself. I can’t put into words the happenings of the entire match as I feel like we’d be here till next Christmas. So I’ll insert a clip from ‘Jack To A King’ of the play off final below and you can feel the feels.
It was the second time I’ve cried watching the Swans, the first being when we lost the Play-off Final in 2006 against Barnsley but we’ll discuss that later. I’ve never felt such pride in all my life, my heart felt so full like it could explode, our players and our fans deserved this and it was finally our time. I just remember not wanting to leave Wembley, I didn’t want that incredible day to end but then again I couldn’t wait to go home and watch the game all over again.
I’ll insert a few pictures below of some of my other favourite away games, see how many grounds you can recognise.
One of my worst away games has to be Swindon Town many seasons ago, to sum it up, it tipped down the entire match, we stood in an un-roofed stand getting soaked for 90 minutes in the middle of January, it was not the most exciting match, we drew 1-1 and I had my mum moaning in my ear all the way through about the terrible weather. The only positive that came from that day was that it was only a short commute home, just over the bridge.
A game that probably sticks in many Swans’ fans minds is the League 1 Play-off Final match against Barnsley in the Millennium Stadium in 2006. Long story short, we lost, on penalties. Alan Tate’s saved penalty by Nick Colgan lost us the game and I was a heartbroken ten year old. It was my first ever ‘Big’ game and I had such high expectations only to come away crying to myself. We did go for a lovely Italian afterwards though in Cardiff, pizza did soften the blow slightly…
Favourite Player – Past & Present
My two favourite players when I was younger has to be Lee Trundle (as he probably was for a lot of people) and Garry Monk.
I’m not sure why Garry was one of my favourites back then, I think I might have had a thing for gingers… It was quite clear early on that Monk was cut out to be a leader, being made skipper in 2006 really confirmed the idea that he would one day be a successful manager. I have a Garry Monk fridge magnet from our League 1 days which has mysteriously gone missing off the fridge within the last year, so I’d just like to take the time to dedicate this post to Garry the fridge magnet… Just kidding.
Trunds was an obvious candidate for my former favourite player, in my eyes he was like Swansea’s own Messi back then. He was a definite show-boater, a crowd pleaser and all the kids (including me) loved him. He definitely brought something different to Swansea and I’m so glad he’s still with the club today.
Here’s one of my favourite Lee Trundle goals below.
If you know me from Twitter or in real life, you’ll already know who my favourite current player is…
Yes you guessed right, Gylfi Sigurdsson.
When Gylfi first came to Swansea on loan in January 2012 I think we all thought the same thing… WHO THE HELL IS THIS SEXY BUGGER? Ok, maybe not all of us… He played his first game for us against Arsenal and set up the winning goal, leaving us with a 3-2 win over the Gunners. I’ve loved him ever since. I was genuinely upset when he went to Spurs in the summer, but such is life. On hearing that Gylfi would return last season, I was like an overexcited child on Christmas Eve, it practically made my year. Despite being completely obsessed with Sigurdsson, I have been quite critical about him this season, I feel like a player with his ability, should be not just scoring more but shooting more.
I’ve also got to give a special mention to old veteran Leon Britton who honestly makes me proud to be a Jack every time he comes on the pitch. He works his little legs off regardless if he plays the whole 90 or comes on in the 80th minute. With him only being two inches taller than me, I think we’d really see eye to eye. No? Ok fair enough, that was pretty shocking.
My most improved player would be Jonjo Shelvey, not overly impressed when he signed for us from Liverpool because I never really rated him. My doubts weren’t proved wrong entirely in his first season, he showed glimpses of his ability here and there. He seemed very immature and quite hot tempered which I really hate in a player, he seemed quite lazy on the pitch and resentful to work hard. I actually feel quite guilty about typing this about Jonjo presently, because he is definitely a firm favourite of mine now. Jonjo has certainly grown up, as you would expect passing 21 and improved his fitness in my opinion. He works so hard on the field, not only driving the ball forward but chasing the ball back. I would definitely like him to play a less defensive role and get forward more but I’m really happy with the way he’s playing this season and contributing to the team.
I think I’ll leave this post here for now otherwise you’ll be overdosing on Swansea. I’ve definitely got more to share and say about The Swans so another post like can be expected (not too soon though, I’ll let you guys detox first).
If you have any questions or if you’re curious to know anything that I haven’t mentioned then please feel free to leave a comment below or message me on my social networking links which are below.
I’ll leave you with a good laugh, here’s a throwback of me from god knows how many years ago. Please excuse my horrendous pout.