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Preston North End
Wednesday 19th April 2023
Swansea City want to give YOU the chance to win an exclusive prize at our final home game of the season, courtesy of Westacres.
Supporters can enter a draw to win x2 tickets to watch the Swans take on West Bromwich Albion on Monday May 8. The Swans will take on the Baggies with kick off set for 3pm on Bank Holiday Monday. In addition to these tickets, the winner will be greeted by Lee Trundle pitchside and will win a fully signed Swansea City shirt.
All you need to do is upload your favourite Swans photo of the 2022-23 season in your camera roll via the link below. Entries will be accepted by 12pm on 28.04.23.
Good evening and welcome back to the Swansea.com Stadium for our penultimate home game of the season against Preston North End.
This is our second home fixture in the space of five days following the excellent victory here against Huddersfield last Saturday.
We are on a good run of form right now and it’s great to see Russell and the players gathering some momentum ahead of the summer.
The win over Huddersfield was particularly pleasing because while we dominated the game in terms of possession and chances created, our game management was spot on and the players are clearly reaping the rewards from the difficult spells that we have encountered this season.
It’s important to remember that we have a young squad with many players who are still learning their trade at this level, while the way we play is certainly not easy.
But there’s a real togetherness and the atmosphere here in recent games has matched the intensity from the players.
Tonight also sees a long-standing member of staff take in his final game with us. Matthew Daniel, our Head of Operations, is leaving his post after 16 years of service, initially with the Stadium Management Company and, more recently, Swansea City.
During his tenure, the club progressed from League One to the Premier League and a season in Europe, while Matt helped the club navigate things logistically and safely from the stadium perspective as sell-out crowds became the norm.
Aside from football, Matt has been instrumental in operational matters for the Ospreys as well as a number of big concerts here at the stadium – including Elton John, The Killers and Little Mix. Whether it has been procuring, planning or delivering at the stadium, Matthew is greatly respected by his colleagues as well as numerous partner organisations and agencies, all of whom wish him well in the next stage of his career.
Finally, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to the directors, management, players and supporters from Preston who have made the trip to Wales for today’s game.
Enjoy the game.
Good evening and welcome back to the Swansea.com Stadium for this Championship fixture against Preston North End at the Swansea.com Stadium.
It’s great to be back on home soil again as we look to continue this good run we have been on, and ensure we finish this campaign as strongly as possible.
We have built on the way we bounced back from a difficult run of results with another win and clean sheet against Huddersfield on Saturday.
We faced a team who have been very effective at what they do in recent weeks, and it presented a different challenge for us in terms of breaking down a side happy to sit deep and soak up pressure without the ball.
In that scenario you ideally want an early goal to open the game up, but we knew if we were unable to do that then we would need to show real patience and accuracy in our play.
Credit to the players because we did not panic, we stuck to our way of playing and, in the end, the amount of work we made Huddersfield do without the ball meant we always felt a goal would come for us, and that proved to be the case.
Our accuracy with the ball limited the amount of defending we had to do, but when we needed to be we were really good without the ball and limited them to very little.
Our attitude to our defensive work has been excellent in this run we are on, and recording four clean sheets in five games tells its own story.
We want to make sure we maintain this level of performance all the way through to the end of the season.
I know it might sound strange to say, but I want us to finish as strongly as possible even if that means we are left with such frustration because we have got ourselves so close to a play-off place.
That would underline what we have felt for so much of the season, that we are only a couple of pieces away from being a side that can really impact the division.
The difficult period we went through in the middle of the season lasted longer than it should have, something I take responsibility for, and it is a period I know will make me a better coach and manager moving forward in my career.
But there have been so many positives in terms of how so many players have developed this season, and to round this campaign off on the front foot and with confidence will set us up for a really important summer for this club where we will have a lot of areas to address.
Before that, we face a Preston side very much in the play-off picture and in good form.
We know Ryan Lowe well having faced him in League One, and you can see the impact he has made and how being given the time to build an identity and culture has been of real benefit.
They will represent a tough test for us this evening, but we will be looking to once again play with the courage, intensity and identity we show when we are at our best.
Enjoy the game,
Good evening and welcome to everyone joining us from around the world for this evening’s Championship fixture against Preston North End at the Swansea.com Stadium.
Saturday’s win over Huddersfield Town at home was a reward for a dominant performance in which we had to show great amounts of patience.
The win marked our third consecutive clean sheet and our fourth win in five matches, which I think we can take great pride from.
The way Huddersfield set up makes them difficult to play against so we had to keep composed, stay patient and stick to our playing style until we broke them down with the goal.
Players and staff have been working tirelessly on the training pitches and we’re reaping the rewards of that with the clean sheets and wins.
As I mentioned in my last programme notes, the aim is to win every game for the rest of the season and we feel we still have a lot to prove.
It would mean the world to us to carry this run on and end the season as strongly as we possibly can.
Finishing this season strongly will provide a platform to build on next season. We have all learnt from this season, and players like Nathan Wood and Ollie Cooper who are in their first full season in the Championship will benefit greatly from the experience.
We face a Preston side who have been in good form and are strongly in the hunt for the play-offs.
It will be a tough test for us but we’re just looking to build on recent performances and getting the three points to continue our unbeaten run.
Thank you for your support as always, the atmosphere has been superb in recent weeks and really gives us a boost when we need it.
Enjoy the game today!
Good evening and welcome back to the Swansea.com Stadium for another feast of night-time entertainment.
Since December 10 we have only played two of our 11 matches at the traditional time of 3pm on a Saturday, so watching games under floodlights has become quite familiar to us.
We also welcome returning Jacks Freddie Woodman and David Cornell to Swansea, although there will only be room for one of them in goal tonight.
We have a poor record of ex-players returning to score against us, but it should be a safe bet that that will not happen this evening!
As for betting itself, it has been an interesting couple of weeks in the gambling industry.
The Gambling Commission took decisive action in issuing the William Hill Group with a record fine of £19.2m for what they described as; “widespread and alarming social responsibility and anti-money laundering failure.”
Gambling companies have a duty to behave ethically and when they are not regulated, they have the power to destroy people’s lives.
This is something our very own head coach Russell Martin spoke about so bravely recently. He very eloquently described the effect that a gambling addiction can have on both the person placing the bets and especially those that are closest to them.
Russell’s story highlights the human toll addiction can take, and it helps us understand the role we have as a sport as a whole, and we applaud the decision taken this week by the Premier League.
The top-flight have voted to ban the promotion of betting companies on the front of team’s shirts from the start of the 2026-27 season.
This is something that Swansea City led the way with at the beginning of the 2020-21 season, and we are pleased to see other teams follow suit.
At present the EFL is still sponsored by a betting firm, but it is pleasing to see positive steps taken in the right direction to regulate the impact that this industry has on our supporters and members.
On the pitch, and especially off it, we support you, Russell.
As fans, we are always looking for Jacks to become more involved with your Supporters’ Trust and, in turn, the football club.
In just over two months’ time we will be preparing for our annual elections where we will be seeking six positions to be filled, to join our remaining five board members who have another year of office. We will also be seeking to appoint up to another four co-opted board members from August 1st.
Now would be a good time to start considering whether a seat on the Trust board would be right for you. We are always looking for individuals who are prepared to work for the greater good of both the Trust and the club.
If you would like to know a bit more about what being a board member involves, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who knows, it could be you sitting here this time next season, contributing to the programme notes and discussing the fact that the Lilywhites are one point off the play-offs and that two of their side learned their trade in Swansea.
Remarkably we too are only seven points adrift following our impressive return to form in the past five matches.
Here’s hoping it is not too pleasant a return for Freddie or David on the pitch tonight, but we wish them well in their push for promotion once tonight’s contest is over.
Enjoy the game YJBs.
Swansea City AFC Foundation Premier League Kicks participants took part in the Premier League Kicks Cup in Bristol last week.
The cup gave participants across the Foundation’s Premier League Kicks sessions to represent the Swans, with a girls and boys team travelling across the Severn Bridge to take part.
The girls team were up first, winning four of their five group games and drawing one. But they missed out on a place in the finals suffering a 2-0 loss to Bristol Rovers in the semi-finals.
The boys side also had a strong showing on the day. They narrowly missed out on a place in the knock-out rounds winning three games and losing twice.
Craig Richards, Swansea City AFC's youth engagement manager, said: “We are extremely proud of both teams.
“The Kicks tournament provided a fantastic opportunity for our participants to represent Swansea City against other clubs from different backgrounds. It was great for all those teams to come together, learn from each other and participate in the high-profile competition.
“Many of the participants came from various Kicks sites and met each other for the first time on the morning of the event. The way they gelled together highlights the positivity of physical activity, teamwork and social interaction, which Kicks is all about.”
As Swansea City prepare to take on Preston North End in midweek, we take a closer look at the Lilywhites.
What’s their story?
Founded in 1880 Preston were among the founder members of the Football League and won the first two top-flight titles in 1889 and 1890. North End are also two-time FA Cup winners with the first of those completing a double in the maiden EFL season.
That spell proved to be a golden era for the Lilywhites and it is success they have not found easy to replicate during their long history.
The Deepdale club have spent large parts of the post-Millenniumperiod in the second tier of the Football League but have never playedin the Premier League since it’s formation.
The closest the club came to promotion was in 2001 and 2005, when they suffered play-off final defeats to Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United respectively.
Who's the gaffer?
Ryan Lowe. The former Plymouth boss began his managerial career at Bury, coaching them in a caretaker capacity during the 2017-2018 season, before earning the permanent role in 2018.
Lowe made the move to Plymouth the following year, taking over a month before they were relegated from the third tier. In his first full season, Lowe gained immediate promotion back to League One in 2019-20, finished the following campaign in mid-table.
After agreeing to depart Home Park, Lowe has been at Deepdale since December 2021, replacing Frankie McAvoy in the hotseat, and guiding the Lilywhites to a 13th place finish in the Championship table in his first season at the club.
In his playing career, the forward made 626 total league appearances for nine different English clubs, including over 50 appearances for Shrewsbury Town, Bury, Crewe Alexandra and Chester City.
Who’s the captain?
Republic of Ireland international Alan Browne in the captain at Deepdale. A club veteran, the former Cork City midfielder has amassed over 350 appearances for the Lancashire club in his nine years with them, also chipping in with 42 goals in the process.
The tough-tackling midfielder played a large part inhelping Preston return to the Championship via the play-offs in 2015 and has been an integral and influential figure during his time at the club.
Browne has also played at every level for his country of birth, winning 29 caps since his international debut in a 1-0 2018 friendly defeat against Turkey in Antalya.
He is currently sidelined by a knee injury.
How's their form?
Strong. Preston have lost just two of their last 12 Championship games, putting together a run that has them on the brink of a play-off spot with just a handful of fixtures remaining.
They have won six of those games, including a run of three in a row against Blackpool, QPR and Reading.
Their away form has been particularly impressive, with North End having the fourth-best record in the division on their travels, picking up 35 points from 20 games.
Midfielder Ben Whiteman has proved an impressive acquisition since his arrival from Doncaster in January of 2021.
The former Manchester United and Sheffield United trainee made his senior bow for the Blades in 2014, and had loan spells with Mansfield and Doncaster before making his move to the latter permanent in the summer of 2018.
He wasted little time making a big impact at the Eco-Power Stadium, and he was named club captain at the age of just 23 such was his form and professionalism.
His showings put him on the radar of a number of Championship clubs, with Preston securing his signature.
A dynamic player with an eye for goal, he has three goals and two assists to his name this season, most recently finding the net with a free-kick in the derby win over Blackpool.
A classy operator in midfield, Daniel Johnson is one of the longest-serving players in the Preston squad.
The Jamaica international was on the books at Crystal Palace and Aston Villa as a youngster, and was involved in several Premier League matchday squads for the latter but never made an appearance in the top-flight.
He had loan spells with Yeovil, Chesterfield and Oldham before making the switch to Preston in January 2015.
Johnson went on to help the Lilywhites secure promotion via the play-offs at the end of that season, and he has racked up 33 appearances and 57 goals to date.
He has been a consistent performer throughout their time in the second tier, and has been approaching his best form during their excellent recent run of form.
On-loan Everton striker Tom Cannon has made a big impression since joining Preston on loan in January.
The 20-year-old has been on the books with the Toffees since the age of 10, and made his senior debut for the Toffees in a Carabao Cup defeat at Bournemouth earlier this season, followed by a Premier League bow against the same opposition a few days later.
He has racked up seven goals in 16 Championship games for Preston, with those goals coming in a flurry during his last nine appearances.
His goals have played a big part in putting Preston right in the play-off hunt at the business end of the campaign.
FOOTBALL IS A GAME OF CURIOUS CONTRADICTIONS, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO FINANCES AND PERHAPS TO A SLIGHTLY LESSER DEGREE, TO FANS.
There’s no doubt that in some areas the game is awash with money – we need look no further than the Premier League for evidence of that.
In the post-World War II era, the gulf between the rich and poor clubs and by default, their players, is ever-widening. The big earners take home more in a couple of months than an average nurse will make over the course of an NHS career.
The figures are eye-watering and would be life-changing to many if shared more equitably.
Rest assured this isn’t a rant about the immorality of the beautiful game. For all its faults and failings, football has always been one of my great loves.
And one of the reasons for that life-long affection is the people associated with the sport. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been around this club all my life and some of the people who share my affection for it have become dear friends.
The game has a unique ability to unite – and divide – and as fans we identify with the players who wear our team colours and we have an uncanny knack of justifying our inherent bias when it comes to the side we support.
One of the most common football chants bellowing out from the stands in recognition of the fact that a player has secured a place in the hearts of the fans is ‘he’s one of our own’.
In fact, I once interviewed a player who told me the first time he heard that being sung with his name attached to it he almost lost the ball because of the extraordinary overwhelm it induced.
Over the years this club, like all others no doubt, has been called upon to support individuals who are or were ‘one of our own’.
Sometimes those people are fans, ex-players or former employees who for many and often varied reasons, need to be supported in some way. Often sponsored events or collections are organised or charity matches played with the intention of helping to ease the financial burden a life-changing diagnosis or accident or bereavement can have.
The effect of a monetary boost on lives cannot be understated, similarly, the emotional impact of knowing that people you have, or even once had a connection with, care enough about you to support you is probably even more impactful.
This weekend our very own club ambassador, Lee Trundle, (he got a mention last week as well. Don’t let it go to your head Trunds!) captains a Swans Legends side playing to raise money for one of our own, Jason Bowen, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2021.
Another former Swan, Andy Legg, will captain the opposition Cardiff City Legends in a match being played at Penybont FC’s SDM Glass Stadium this Sunday afternoon. KO 2.30pm.
Old rivals coming together for the greater good.
Mae'r teimlad cadarnhaol wedi dychwelyd i Glwb Pêl-droed Dinas Abertawe.
Ar ôl rhediad rhwystredig iawn o ganlyniadau, mae tîm Russell Martin wedi trawsnewid eu ffawd yn ystod yr wythnosau diwethaf i ddringo yn ôl i fyny tabl y Bencampwriaeth.
Mae clod enfawr i'r staff hyfforddi sydd wedi gweithio'n ddiflino ar y maes hyfforddi i unioni rhai o'r problemau mawr sydd wedi bod mor broblemus i'r Elyrch ar adegau y tymor hwn.
Mae'r gwaith wedi talu ar ei ganfed. Mae Abertawe yn mynd i fewn i'r gêm heno yn erbyn Preston heb ildio mewn pedair o'u pum gêm ddiwethaf tra eu bod wedi casglu 13 o'r 15 pwynt olaf sydd ar gael.
Mae'r rhediad gwell wedi profi'r hyn y mae'r rhan fwyaf o bobl wedi bod yn ei deimlo am misoedd. Mae Abertawe mewn gwirionedd mor agos at fod yn cystadleuol yn y gynghrair hon.
Mae’r prif hyfforddwr Martin wedi sôn yn gyson am fod un neu ddau ddarn i ffwrdd o fod yn dîm mwy cyflawn, ac ni wnaeth ffenestr drosglwyddo ofnadwy mis Ionawr fawr ddim i hybu gobeithion Abertawe o ennill dyrchafiad i’r Uwch Gynghrair.
Ond, ar ôl rhoi diwedd ar eu rhediad ofnadwy o’r diwedd, mae’r Elyrch bellach yn edrych ymlaen gyda teimlad positif.
Mae'r amddiffyn wedi'i drawsnewid yn ystod yr wythnosau diwethaf, gyda chwaraewyr gan gynnwys Nathan Wood a Ben Cabango yn disgleirio.
Perfformiodd Harry Darling yn dda iawn ar yr ochr dde tra bod Joel Latibeaudiere a Ryan Manning hefyd wedi bod yn ffigurau enfawr yn y rhediad diweddar o ganlyniadau, felly mae'n hawdd gweld pam mae Martin mor awyddus i weld y dynion hynny'n arwyddo cytundebau newydd gyda'r clwb.
Fodd bynnag, mae un dyn yn arbennig yn haeddu clod aruthrol am ei drawsnewidiad rhyfeddol. Gwnaeth Andy Fisher nifer o gamgymeriadau proffil uchel a brofodd yn gostus yn erbyn timau gan gynnwys Caerdydd,Luton a Millwall.
Ond, mae o wedi profi ei werth yn llwyr yn ddiweddar serch hynny, gyda’r bêl wrth ei draed ac o ran cadw’r bêl allan o’i rwyd ei hun.
Mae’r cyfan yn cynnig gobaith gwirioneddol i Abertawe cyn nhrydydd tymor Martin yn De Cymru, a gyda sôn am fuddsoddiad newydd yn dod i mewn i’r clwb yn y dyfodol agos, mae gan gefnogwyr o’r diwedd reswm i deimlo’n wirioneddol optimistaidd ar gyfer ffenestr drosglwyddo’r haf.
I have to admit, I’ve been drawn into the excitement and hype surrounding Wrexham Association Football Club.
I know a lot of Swans fans may not share my enthusiasm, but as someone who used to work in the newspaper industry, I’m a sucker for a great story.
Superstar Hollywood actors buy ailing fifth tier football club in north Wales.
It reads like . . . well, let’s be honest, it reads like a Hollywood script!
The fact that Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have invested emotionally and financially into the community as well as the football club has made it an even more appealing tale.
From the outside, they appear to be the perfect owners. But even they have discovered over the past couple of seasons that on-field success isn’t guaranteed. Even for a pair of Hollywood A-listers.
The thing is, football isn’t scripted. It can be far more enthralling, unpredictable and dramatic than anything even the most seasoned and imaginative screenwriters could dream up.
You only had to watch Wrexham’s match against Notts County to understand the thin line between success and failure and how quickly that can shift in football.
The excitement generated within the Wrexham community reminds me of Swansea’s very own fairy-tale, which gripped the city and the wider footballing community over four decades ago.
Fair enough, the two situations are different in many ways. But no one can argue that Swansea was gripped by a dose of football fever it had rarely previously experienced – similar to what is currently being experienced in Wrexham.
Make no mistake about it. John Toshack’s arrival in Swansea back in 1978 was massive national news.
But imagine how big the story would be these days, with the advent of social media and 24-hour rolling news and sports channels.
Toshack’s success in taking the Swans from Fourth to First Division is, of course, well documented.
And it’s probably fitting we should talk about it on the evening we play Preston North End – the team the Swans beat to clinch promotion to the top-flight back in 1981 in front of a 10,000-strong travelling Jack Army!
It’s sometimes forgotten just how much excitement was generated by that success and the huge boost it brough to Swansea and the surrounding communities in what were difficult times economically and politically in south Wales.
Back in 1978, Swansea City and John Toshack inhabited completely different worlds in football terms.
Within the old Football League structure Tosh and the Swans really couldn’t have been much further apart.
The Welsh international centre forward was part of an all-conquering Liverpool side – finishing the previous season with an individual tally of 23 goals.
The Swans, on the other hand were languishing in the old Fourth Division, having been forced to suffer the indignity of applying for re-election to the Football League just a few years previously.
The only vaguely similar comparison I could draw today would be someone like Aaron Ramsey taking over as player manager of Newport County and then encouraging a handful of recent Champions League winners to follow him.
Even that comparison doesn’t really illustrate quite how much of a coup it was for the Swans to attract Toshack and some of his fellow Liverpool team-mates.
The big advantage the Swans story has over the Wrexham situation in my opinion is that the Swans success wasn’t as dependent on an influx of talent from outside the locality.
For all the glamour, pzazz and playing talent Toshack attracted to the club, there was already a rich vein of local talent emerging at the Vetch, who were by no means merely extras and supporting actors in the Swansea City story.
For every Tommy Smith there was a Wyndham Evans or Nigel Stevenson. For every Ray Kennedy there was a Robbie James and a Jeremy Charles.
And for every Ian Callaghan there was an Alan Curtis – arguably the jewel in the crown of the club’s home-grown talent.
Even so, attracting the likes of Smith, Callaghan and, later on, Ray Kennedy, as the Swans climbed the divisions, added that sprinkling of stardust, which captured the fans’ imagination.
Toshack arrived at Swansea having won the First Division Championship with Liverpool the previous season – his third league title with the Reds.
The 29-year-old had also won the European Cup, the FA Cup, three UEFA Cups and a UEFA Super Cup in the previous half-dozen years.
Vetch crowds immediately jumped from the 6,000 for the previous home match – a local derby against Newport County - to 15,500 on March 3 for Tosh’s first match against Watford.
And the plot continued to become even more far-fetched as the Swans shot up the leagues. Tosh had persuaded the likes of Callaghan and Smith to join him from Liverpool in the early days.
The latter arrived for the start of the 1978-79 season having been one of the scorers in Liverpool’s 3-1 European Cup Final win against Borussia Monchengladbach in 1977.
Meanwhile, Callaghan had been part of England’s World Cup winning squad just over a decade before and joined the Swans shortly after being on the bench for Liverpool’s 1978 European Cup win.
And then, with the Swans having reached the First Division – and even the top of the table - they were joined by Kennedy who had won every domestic trophy in the game in addition to three European Cups!
When the Swans had applied for re-election, who would have thought the likes of these footballing legends, in addition to the likes of England centre-forward Bob Latchford, would be attracted to the club less than a decade later.
Reynolds and McElhenny think THEY have pulling power! Eat your heart out boys!
I know the Swans’ later Premier League promotion brought far more money and global exposure, as well as lasting longer, but as in the film world, the sequel rarely completely captures the magic of the original!
So, Wrexham have some way to go in order to match the magic of the Swans in terms of captivating storylines, but it’s still a great tale.
However, while I may be enjoying the following the story, it doesn’t mean I’ve switched my allegiance to the north Wales club in any way!
I guarantee you, any good wishes I have for them on the football field will disappear completely if and when the two clubs sit in the same division. Or indeed, if we ever draw them in a cup competition.
But for now, they are no direct threat to us from a footballing, or geographical point of view, so I’m happy to see their success continue and genuinely hope they are promoted to the Football League at the end of this season.
I remember a couple of campaigns back in the late Seventies/early Eighties when Swansea, Cardiff and Wrexham were all in the old second division – one step down from the top-flight of domestic football.
It was great fun having four Welsh derbies in a season – even if travelling up to north Wales seldom feels like a local derby given our nation’s transport infrastructure.
Who knows, the Swans and Wrexham may even one day meet in the top tier.
Reynolds and McElhenny have already spoken of their ambition for Premier League Football. Fair enough . . . just as long as we’ll be there waiting for them if they do!
A Swansea City top-flight blockbuster trilogy would put the Hollywood A-listers firmly in the shade!
C’mon you Swans!
SWANSEA CITY STRETCHED THEIR UNBEATEN RUN TO FIVE GAMES AS RYAN MANNING’S DEFLECTED VOLLEY SEALED VICTORY FOLLOWING A DOMINANT PERFORMANCE AGAINST HUDDERSFIELD TOWN AT THE SWANSEA.COM STADIUM.
Swansea City: Andy Fisher; Joel Latibeaudiere, Ben Cabango, Nathan Wood, Ryan Manning; Jay Fulton (Luke Cundle 59), Matt Grimes (captain); Joel Piroe (Joe Allen 86), Olivier Ntcham (Ollie Cooper 46), Jamie Paterson (Morgan Whittaker 60); Liam Cullen (Harry Darling 80)
Unused Substitutes: Andreas Søndergaard, Kyle Naughton.
Huddersfield Town: Tomas Vaclik, Matty Pearson, Jonathan Hogg (captain), David Kasumu (Josh Koroma 73), Jack Rudoni, Rarmani Edmonds-Green (Martyn Waghorn 84), Danny Ward, Tom Lees, Brahima Diarra (Tyreece Simpson 74), Michal Helik, Jaheim Headley (Josh Ruffels 73).
Unused Substitutes: Nick Bilokapic, Ben Jackson, Matt Lowton.
Referee: Matthew Donohue
Joel Piroe has another 20-goal season in his sights at Swansea City as he looks to end the 2022-23 campaign strongly.
The Dutchman recently went through the 40-goal mark for the club and reflects on his development during his time at the club so far, the lessons he and his team-mates have learned from a challenging campaign, and why they will benefit them in the future.
Joel, it feels like the end of the season is coming at us very quickly. As you look back, how do you reflect on the campaign?
“I think it is a season you can split into different parts. We did not make the fastest of starts, but then we put together a really good run.
“We had a bit of a dip and now we are finishing strongly again.
“It has been a season that has had big challenges for us, and the big thing is we have really come together as a group.
“We have looked to stick together, to stick to the way we play as much as we can.
“We could feel the performances were coming but the results were not. In that situation you just have to work hard and carry on, and now you can see the benefits.”
You talk about feeling that performances were returning to the levels you wanted. Does any one game stand out in that respect?
“I think Middlesbrough and Millwall were the ones for me, where I felt like we played well but we did not manage to win.
“We came out of those games feeling like we deserved more, and we could have got more from the games.
“Especially at Millwall where we played pretty well but the final piece just was not there.
“From there we started to win again and the challenge for us now is to carry this on all the way to the end of the season.”
Did you learn a lot from that period?
“It was definitely the hardest experience I have had as a player so far. In those circumstances you have to show character and togetherness to get through it.
“As a team you have to make sure you do not force things on each other, that you do not blame each other and that you just continue to work on the process.
“You keep working, you keep building, you keep learning because this is what it is about a player and a person.
“You get to see and understand the difference between playing with loads of confidence, and maybe going through a period where you don’t have the same level.
“In those moments it is important to support each other and get the best out of each other because, at the end of the day, that is what makes the team the best.”
You have 17 goals to your name so far this season, you are closing in on getting 20 for the second season in a row. How has it been from a personal point of view?
“Yeah, I am certainly hoping to reach the 20-goal mark again this season, it is always a nice number for a forward, I think.
“I am happy with how things are going at the moment, I feel like I have been a little bit unfortunate at times this season too as I feel like I have hit the post or the crossbar at least seven or eight times!
“So, there could easily have been a few more goals, but I am happy with my development.
“Someone said to me that it has been a long time since a Swansea player scored 20 goals two seasons in a row.
“It would mean a lot to me to do that when you look at some of the special players who have played for this club.
“As a player it is nice when you do things that have not been done, or maybe not been done for a while, it is like a small piece of history and they are nice things to have next to your name.
“I hope I can get there now and make that little bit of history.”
You mention making history, we’ve recently completed the double double over Cardiff in the south Wales derby. It was a dramatic day! What did that mean to you?
“The moment when Ben scored was just unreal. I think everyone would describe it as the perfect derby when you win it in this way.
“Of course, to do it four times in a row is history and very special. It is a moment we enjoyed and I think you could see what a release it is for everyone.
“It is a fixture I have been lucky enough never to lose in, and it would be hard to pick a favourite, but any time you score a late winner to get a victory it is a great feeling.
“It is the worst feeling when you concede to lose a game like that, but it is the best feeling when you win a game like that.
“The 4-0 was great, but it’s a different atmosphere.”
We have four games to go, what’s the hope for the rest of the season? Is it to get as close to the play-offs as possible even though – as the manager said after the Huddersfield game – that will probably be very frustrating?
“We want to finish strongly but I think, wherever we finish, we will look back and say there were too many times where we drew games or lost games where we should have had more.
“All those games add up at the end and, whatever happens over these four games, I think there will be that sense of frustration.
“At the same time we just have to carry on and make sure we learn the lessons from it.
“The best lessons are the ones you use to make sure you do not make the same mistakes again.”
Away from the pitch, are there any hobbies you have or other sports you enjoy?
“I am a big basketball fan, I also like to play padel, although I have to be honest and say I love my gaming!
“I play on the Playstation on FIFA, so it’s football for me whether I am on the pitch myself or virtually!
“But I do really enjoy the NBA, I probably like the Los Angeles Lakers the most.
“I have liked the sport since I was a kid, I have followed it since about 2011.
“I love the show they put on, the skills they have. It is such a competitive league.
“At first you just watch it for the superstars and the big plays, but the more you watch it you start to understand the strategies and the tactics and how teams set up.
“I really enjoy that part of it because it is so much more than a one-on-one game.”
Finally, Joel, as you approach the end of your second season in Swansea, how much do you feel you have developed from the player who first moved here in the summer of 2021?
“These last seasons have been so big for me, because I feel I have really established myself playing in a first team.
“I have been playing every game, playing the majority of the minutes and it means I have needed to be switched on in a way I did not have to be before.
“I have way more confidence than when I came here for the first time, everything was new; a new club, a new country. But I love it here, from the first day I came here and discovered Swansea as an area it has been great.
“The weather may not always be nice, but the people in the city, the people who work at the club, everyone is so helpful and makes life so easy.
“I hope I have proven myself here but there is still an awful lot of work for me to do.”
IN THE NEXT INSTALMENT OF OUR ‘CULT HEROES’ FEATURE, CLUB HISTORIAN GWYN REES RECALLS THE SWANSEA CITY STORY OF A MAN WHO WAS WITH THE CLUB AT THE OUTSET OF ITS FOOTBALL LEAGUE JOURNEY, MAKING OVER 400 APPEARANCES FOR THE CLUB: BILLY HOLE
Born in Swansea in November 1897, Hole signed for his hometown club as an amateur from local league football in February 1919.
He initially played in friendly and Welsh league games, until in August of that year he took the plunge and signed on as a full-time professional.
Hole was an old-fashioned winger, likely to have touchline chalk on his boots as he looked to use his turn of pace and footwork to beat his opposition full-back.
After impressing in the reserve sides, he made his full professional debut in a Southern League fixture away at Millwall on October 18, 1919, and a week later made his home debut against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Vetch Field.
Such were his performances that the youngster kept his place in the side for the majority of the season, and when the club was elected to the Football League the following season he joined a select band of players who would play for the club in Southern League and Football League fixtures.
The Swans played their first-ever Football League fixture at Portsmouth on August 28 1920, and Hole was in the side that were beaten 3-0.
But, to Swansea’s credit, they quickly adjusted to the higher grade of football and finished the campaign in a strong fifth place, with Hole missing only two league games all campaign.
Just a year later and Hole’s performances had caught the eye of the Welsh selectors.
He made the first of his nine appearances for his country at the Vetch Field against Ireland, playing alongside his club-mate Ivor Jones, and becoming the first Swansea-born to score an international goal on his home ground in a 2-1 win.
Hole’s wing play brought many goals for the likes of Jack Fowler, and though he wasn't thought of as a consistent goal scorer, nevertheless he contributed his fair share of goals from his time out on the wing.
During the 1923-24 season, after an excellent start to the campaign by the Swans, Hole was the only goal scorer in a home game against Plymouth Argyle.
But the win came at a cost to the player, who picked up a bad injury that kept him out of the side for the remainder of the season, and for the first half of the following season.
He eventually returned in February 1925 in a home game against Northampton Town, and continued on the wing as the Swans won the Third Division South title and secured promotion to the Second Division for the first time in their history.
The new division suited the team's free-flowing style, and a fifth-place finish at the end of the season was a credit to the way the club was being run under the management of Joe Bradshaw.
But that campaign is mainly remembered for the FA Cup run that took the club agonisingly close to a Wembley final.
After wins over the likes of Stoke City, Blackpool and Millwall, and a famous victory at home in the quarter-final against Arsenal, an eventual semi-final defeat to winners Bolton ended dreams of a first piece of major silverware.
Hole played in all those cup ties, and was also part of the team that lost the Welsh Cup final against Ebbw Vale by three goals to two.
By now he was looking towards a life outside the game, and with this in mind he opened a Newsagents in the town centre.
But he continued to play and was selected, along with seven Swansea team-mates to represent a Welsh League side to play against the Irish Free State at the Vetch in 1930.
He would leave the Swans in June 1931 to join Llanelli in the Welsh League, but injuries and his ongoing business interests limited him to a handful of appearances and led to retirement from the game he had graced.
Hole’s legacy continues with three of his sons – Alan, Colin and Barrie – playing for the club.
He passed away in Swansea in 1983, but his name will forever be linked with the club and city he served throughout his life.
BEN LLOYD'S FIRST-HALF GOAL WASN'T ENOUGH FOR SWANSEA CITY UNDER-21S AS BARNSLEY PRODUCED A SECOND-HALF COMEBACK TO CLAIM THE THREE POINTS IN THEIR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE CLASH AT OAKWELL.
Lloyd netted the opener after a solid start from the Swans with a smart finish.
But the Tykes struck twice within 10 minutes in the second half through Barry Cotter's low strike and Fabio Jalo's solo effort to complete the turnaround.
Eighteen-year-old Mitchell Bates made the Swans matchday squad for the first time since signing for the club back in January after being sidelined by injury, whilst Filip Lissah made his first start in over six months.
Changes were made to the starting XI that faced Millwall last time out. Azeem Abdulai and Tivonge Rushesha were called upon to train with Russell Martin's first-team squad, which meant Kian Jenkins and Lissah came into the side, while under-18 players Iwan Morgan, Dan Watts and Ewan Griffiths were on the bench.
The Swans pushed forward from the start. Lloyd’s lovely slide-rule pass found the onrushing Liam Smith, before a last-ditch challenge from Trialist A denied the Scotsman.
It was a solid opening from the visitors. Kai Ludvigsen and skipper Joel Cotterill worked space down the rightflank superbly, and Lloyd’s eventual chipped shot was held by Adam Hayton in the Barnsley goal.
Down the other end, Barnsley's Cotter effort from an acute angle bounced off the top of the crossbar.
But it was the Swans who took the lead through Lloyd in the 17th minute.
The Wales youth international was found in stride by an excellent through ball, and he made no mistake as he advanced towards Hayton and fired the ball past the keeper into the middle of the net.
The hosts looked to respond, with Swansea keeper Remy Mitchell pushing wide an angled Fabio Jalo effort, while Trialist C had a shot go well over the bar.
The temperature rose between the two teams as the interval approached, with the sides exchanging half-chances at either end. Josh Thomas held off his marker to meet Cameron Congreve’s pass but he could not find the control to finish, while Mitchell tipped away a deflected strike from Trialist C.
Smith was nearly played in by Bates, but the wing-back was beaten to the ball as Hayton raced off his line to intercept.
However, the hosts struck next as they levelled just after the hour mark. A high ball fell to Cotter, and he was able to turn away from his man and slot the ball past Mitchell.
And the home side had flipped the game around just over five minutes later. Jalo capitalised on a mistake in the middle of the park and raced clear to round Mitchell and find the net and give Barnsley victory.
Swansea City Under-21s are next in action at the Swansea.com Stadium on Monday, April 24 against Sheffield United (2pm).
Barnsley Under-21s: Adam Hayton, Barry Cotter, Eduino Vaz, Danny Benson, Trialist A, Trialist B (Keegan Hartley 60'), Trialist C (Alex Joof 55'), Harrison Nejman (captain), Oli Shaw, Jordan Helliwell, Fabio Jalo (Jack Butterfill 81).
Unused subs: Paul Cooper, Trialist D.
Swansea City Under-21s: Remy Mitchell, Filip Lissah (Harry Jones 62'), Kian Jenkins (Mitchell Bates 62'), Joel Cotterill (captain), Kai Ludvigsen, Ben Blythe, Liam Smith, Josh Thomas, Cameron Congreve, Ben Lloyd, Sam Leverett.
Unused subs:Ewan Griffiths, Dan Watts, Iwan Morgan.
A SECOND-HALF BRACE FROM KYRELL WILSON AND A IWAN MORGAN STRIKE HELPED SWANSEA CITY UNDER-18S EXTEND THEIR UNBEATEN RUN TO SEVEN GAMES WITH VICTORY OVER SHEFFIELD UNITED AT LANDORE.
Substitute Wilson opened the scoring with a powerful header four minutes after his introduction. However, the young Blades responded almost immediately through George Dickinson's spot-kick.
But Wilson put the home side back ahead when he fired home with under 20 minutes to go, before Morgan rounded things off in stoppage time.
The Swans had Jack Cooper and Charlie Veevers in their matchday squad following lengthy spells on the side-lines.
There wereseveral changes tothe side that had beaten Queens Park Rangers last time out. Goalkeeper Evan Watts skippered the side in his second start since returning from injury. Meanwhile, Jada Mawongo, Sam Parker and Geoff Bony also returned to the starting XI.
Swansea made by far the brighter start, showing real intensity and threat in their attacking play.
However, the Blades had the first clear-cut chance of the afternoon. They swept forward through Dickinson whose delivery was headed well over by Jackson Blaize.
Swansea came forward again, Jacob Cook and Sam Parker linked and tried to find Morgan surging into the area, but Parker’s final cross-field pass proved just too strong for the striker
Swansea began to build some pressure as the game neared the interval, penning the visitors back inside their third.
Bony saw two threatening strikes parried away by Callum Yam in the space of three minutes, with the United keeper ensuring the teams headed back to the changing rooms goalless with the game goalless.
But Swansea responded seconds later. Morgan drove down the left beating his man only for his shot to strike the near post.
However, they did not have to wait long for the opener as half-time substitute Wilson arrived to head home an excellent ball from Bony.
However, the lead lasted barely 60 seconds. Houghton-Parris was fouled in the box, and the referee pointed to the spot with no hesitation. Dickinson found the bottom right corner for the equaliser.
Dan Watts looked to utilise his set-piece strengths once again with an inviting ball into the area, but it was deflected out for a Swans corner.
But the Swans got their noses back in front with another fine goal from Wilson, advancing down the right flank before firing a powerful effort into the bottom corner.
Nearing the final whistle, Sri Lankan defender Mawongo did well to block a Stafford Clarke effort from outside of the area.
And that fine piece of defending got its just reward when the Swans added their third goal in stoppage time.
With the keeper off his line, Wilson chipped the ball downfield and Morgan advanced to slot the ball into the empty net.
Swansea City Under-18s: Evan Watts (captain) (Ewan Griffiths 56'), Arthur Parker, Richard Faakye, Jacob Cook, Jada Mawongo, Daniel Watts (Charlie Veevers 83'), Sam Parker (Kyrell Wilson 45'), Thomas Woodward, Geoff Bony (Jack Cooper 56'), Iwan Morgan, Callum Deacon (Rohan Davies 85').
Sheffield United Under-18s: Callum Yam, Jack Waldron, Mekhi Haughton-Parris, Levis Pitan, Seth Okeyre, Ben Drake, Brandon Ly (Trialist B 80'), George Dickinson, Sam Aston, Stafford Clarke, Jackson Blaize (Tavio Ciccarelli 68')
Unused subs: Trialist A, Ryan Andrews, Zain Tahir.
Swansea City Ladies brought their 2022-23 season to an end with defeat to Cardiff City Women at the Cardiff City Stadium.
The Swans took the lead over the champions through a stunning strike by Katy Hosford, but a deflected Lily Billingham effort would level for the hosts soon after.
Second-half goals from Rhianne Oakley and substitute Zoe Atkins were enough to seal three points for the hosts.
Cardiff had the chance to put themselves ahead early, Siobhan Walsh getting onto the end of a corner from Ffion Price but heading over the bar.
Stacey John-Davis had the opportunity to net the opener, cutting inside from the right and firing an effort into the gloves of Ceryn Chamberlain.
And it was the Swans who would find the breakthrough at the Cardiff City Stadium, Hosford cutting inside from the left and hitting a stunning strike into the top right corner.
But just four minutes later, Billingham’s deflected strike found the bottom right corner to draw her side level.
Cardiff would pile on the pressure in the second half, Danielle Broadhurst firing wide on a volley from the edge of the box.
And the hosts would make the pressure count, Oakley finishing a good move for the Bluebirds to pull her side ahead.
Billingham came close to a second of the afternoon for herself, firing from the edge of the box and forcing a good save from Claire Skinner.
But the Bluebirds would eventually find a third, a mazy run from Atkins putting her through one-on-one before slotting home to extend Cardiff’s advantage.
Nia Rees looked to pull one back for the visitors in the final moments, but her effort would go wide as the Swans suffered defeat in their final game of the season.
Cardiff City Women: Ceryn Chamberlain, Lisa Owen (Mikayla Cook 64), Ffion Price, Hannah Power, Siobhan Walsh (captain), Rhianne Oakley (Phoebie Poole 64), Danielle Broadhurst, Danielle Green, Manon Pearce (Zoe Atkins 73), Lily Billingham, Eliza Collie.
Unused subs: Catherine Walsh, Megan Bowen.
Swansea City Ladies: Claire Skinner, Shaunna Jenkins, Ellie Lake (Lailah Muscat 89), Emma Beynon, Kelly Adams (Gwen Horgan 80), Katy Hosford (captain), Stacey John-Davis, Chloe Tiley (Megan Roberts 89), Megan Saunders (Nia Rees 64), Jess Williams, Rachel Cullen.
Unused subs: Chelsea Herbert.
It’s only been a few days since we last saw you and we’re so excited to see you again this evening.
It’s our penultimate (that means ‘last but one’ and I learned it this week) … It’s our penultimate home match and we’re really sad that the season is nearly over.
We’ve really enjoyed dancing with you all at RolyPoly’s discos, kicking virtually penalties in the concourses before the matches and I’ve enjoyed trying to save all the incredible half-time penalties.
We’re already looking forward to next season and we hope you are too!
Test your knowledge on our season so far in this evening’s “Take Five” quiz below.
Finally, our prediction is 1-0 and we think Ben Cabango will score. Let us know your prediction on social media using #JuniorJacks.
Come on the Swans!
Cyril and Cybil
AHMED ~ AGED 11
ALFIE ~ AGED 11
ANTONIO ~ AGED 9
CURTIS ~ AGED 7
DOLCIE ~ AGED 9
LEON ~ AGED 8
NOAH ~ AGED 8
PRESTON ~ AGED 7
WILLIAM ~ AGED 8
OLIVER ~ AGED 9
ZACHARY ~ AGED 12
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 email@example.com,or contacting the ticket office from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm by calling01792 616629and 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, visitwww.radiocity1386am.co.uk. To learn more about accessible facilities at the stadium, pleaseclick here.
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.
Chief Executive -Julian Winter
Honorary Club President -Alan Curtis
Jason Levien, Julian Winter, Jake Silverstein, Sam Porter, Huw Jenkins, Martin Morgan, Sian Davies (supporter director), Romie Chaudhari, Bobby Hernreich, Gareth Davies.
Director of Business and Legal Affairs:Sam Porter
Associate Directors:Ceri Stone
Head Coach– Russell Martin
Assistant Head Coach- Matt Gill
Goalkeeping Coach– Dean Thornton
Head of Physical Performance– Matt Willmott
First Team Performance Analyst- Ben Parker
Set Piece Coach- Andy Parslow
First Team Coach- Kris O'Leary
Head of Performance– Tom Barnden
Head of Rehabilitation– Rhys Owen
Head of Medical- Dr Jez McCluskey
Staff:Ailsa Jones, Bethany Chaddock, Matt Murray, Michael Eames, Shaun Baggridge, Connor Lawley, Tom Gittoes, Jacob Dayus, Jonathan Jones.
Senior Management Group
Andrew Davies(Head of Operations, Facilities & Development);
James Chiffi(Head of Wellbeing & Development);
Josh Marsh(Head of Football Operations).
Club Secretary:Ben Greenwood
Football Operations &
Administration Manager:Rebecca Gigg
Head of Retail:Andrea Morris
Head of Hospitality & Customer Services:Catherine Thomas
Head of Safeguarding:Rebeca Storer
HR Manager:Nicola Butt
Head of Commercial: Richard Morris
Senior Commercial Sponsorship Manager:Lee Merrells
Head of Marketing:
Head of Media & Communications:
Ticket Office Manager:Lewis Bullen
Operations & Events Manager:
Facilities Manager:Gordon David
Grounds Manager:Evan Davies
Disability Access Officer:Catherine Thomas
Swansea City AFC Foundation Manager: Paul France
Club Ambassador:Lee Trundle
Contributors:Ben Donovan,Andrew Gwilym, Sophie Davis, Hayley Ford, Cerith White, Rhys Kemish, Fraser Dickson, Rachael Tucker, Dom Hynes,Julie Kissick, Gwyn Rees, Owen Morgan, Alun Rhys Chivers.
Jordan Morcom, Lewis Ward
Photography:Athena Picture Agency,
Natalie John-Davis, Alamy
Head CoachRussell Martin
Manager Ryan Lowe
1 Freddie Woodman
2 Alvaro Fernandez
3 Greg Cunningham
4 Ben Whiteman
5 Patrick Bauer
6 Liam Lindsay
7 Liam Delap
8 Alan Browne ©
9 Ched Evans
10 Daniel Johnson
11 Robbie Brady
13 Ali McCann
14 Jordan Storey
15 Troy Parrott
16 Andrew Hughes
17 Josh Onomah
18 Ryan Ledson
19 Emil Riis
20 Ben Woodburn
22 Matthew Olosunde
23 Bambo Diaby
25 David Cornell
28 Tom Cannon
30 Dana Amaral
31 Jacob Slater
32 Lewis Leigh
35 Noah Mawene
37 Josh Seary
38 James Pradic
44 Brad Potts
Referee- Oliver Langford
Assistant Referee 1- Greg Read
Assistant Referee 2- Mark Russell
Fourth Official- Andy Woolmer