My Team & I: Swansea

By Chris Carra

Twitter: @ForzaSwansea


Why Swansea?

Despite living in Swansea, I haven’t always been a big Swansea supporter. Having an Italian father, I always tended to ignore British football to support the Italian sides while growing up. However, a few years back, seemingly every conversation I had with a man my age or older would always start with “the Swans are doing alright aren’t they?” to which I’d agree but not really know what I was agreeing with. I decided then to start taking an active role in following my home team, the Swans, and soon enough I really enjoyed watching and listening to games.

When I then joined a hospital radio station, I was asked to be on the live football commentary team, which allowed me to commentate on all the home games! My interest then had to become more professional and I had to learn a lot about the club and it’s history to keep up with my fellow commentators.

If you have no ties with Swansea, they’re still a fantastic team to watch – colourful, exciting football and a great playing mentality, especially under new manager, Brendan Rodgers. Despite getting a free season ticket to commentate, I will sometimes take a day off and pay for a ticket, just to spend the afternoon being a proper fan.

Favourite Player?

My favourite player can switch from week to week, with some really outstanding talent coming to the club in recent years. However, Alan Tate is probably my overall favourite and I’m sure the majority of fans would agree. He’s now one of the longest serving members of the squad and occasionally takes the captaincy when Gary Monk is injured. He is Swansea through and through. I can see him with the club until he retires (and it’s not because other clubs wouldn’t want him!) He’s one of those footballers that just gets on with it. Okay, he does make the most mistakes out of anyone in the side, be it deliberate handballs in the box or scoring technically brilliant own goals, but he fits perfectly into Swansea’s past, present and future. A definite fan favourite! Oh, and he resembles Beaker from the Muppets! “We all dream of a team of Alan Tate’s!”

Favourite Game?

As I said, the games I’ve watched and remembered have all been pretty recent as Swansea history goes, but many stand out. Last season was such a bore with Paulo Sousa at the helm; 0-0, 1-0, 0-0, 1-0. Don’t get me wrong, it was good enough to nearly get us to the play-offs, but I know life-long supporters who left home games with twenty minutes to go because they couldn’t handle the boredom!

On the contrary, this season has produced some immensely exciting games. The recent 3-0 thrashing of Leeds was Barcelona-esque with many putting it up there with Swansea’s best performance ever. Another recent fixture, where the Swans were down and out losing 3-1 away to Middlesbrough, but managed to pull three back and win 4-3! An amazing game!

To answer the question, I think my favourite game is one where Swansea play well, with a bit of danger and a lot of passion, and go on to win! So take your pick from this season!

Favourite Strip?

Generally you can’t go wrong with black and white, though this current season is a ‘back-to-basics’ design and probably my favourite; a clean white shirt with only the sponsors and a simple black Swan adding nothing else. It makes such a difference to last season’s, which was a mish-mash of red, black, white and grey, which looked like a GCSE Graphic Design project… No, this season has to be my favourite. It’s plain and simple.

Worst Thing About Being A Swansea Fan?

The worst thing is probably the best thing as well. The fans! Swansea do play great football, and are winning games, but if they drop a point you’ve always got the underlying danger that the team will be booed off the pitch by a small collection of ‘supporters’! I’m not joking. Earlier this season (and it has happened during more than one game), the team was booed because of a poor performance. However, Swansea still managed to get a draw and a vital point, but this wasn’t enough for some of the ‘fans’ who overlooked the fact that Swansea were second in the Championship table, the best position they’d been in for about 30 years!

When Darren Pratley had a bad spell near Christmas time, which included on and off the field (he refused to sign a new contract), he was booed when he was subbed on during a home game! How embarrassing for the majority of us who know how much Pratley has done for the club (last season’s top goalscorer!) Then, a few games after, when Pratley finally found his form again those boo-ers were singing and chanting his name. You’re not a true supporter unless you get behind your team. I’ve been guilty of having a go at some players, but I will do it with a balanced argument, in a blog or over a pint in the pub. Collectively planning to boo a player or the team is pathetic.

Swans fans are the best around: passionate, generally well behaved and have a great sense of humour, but this small group of fans who boo their own team are shameful.

Funniest Moment?

Swansea don’t produce hilarious moments usually, though I am sure many older fans will be able to correct me and reminisce about a couple back in the lower league days, however as these are my personal opinions, I will pick one which many Swans fans probably won’t agree with.

During the 2009/10 season Swansea were struggling for goals; in fact a single goal was all they needed in the final match against Doncaster to get into the play-offs, yet they still couldn’t get it, despite having four strikers on the pitch!

With that in mind, a couple of games before then (vs. Barnsley) when Shefki Kuqi missed probably the easiest open goal ever always makes me smile. At the time everyone, myself included, was horrified. But looking back at the video replays I can now laugh (especially as Swansea did win that game eventually)! The crowd was already cheering before they realised what had happened! I can guarantee the majority of Swans fans wouldn’t say this was funny, but if we are including tragic comedy, this is right up there.

Elsewhere, check out the video of Swans fan “Ciro” at Anfield in 1990 (it’s on YouTube, but you can also find it on my blog) – Swansea were 8-0 down, but by running onto the pitch he gave every travelling Jack something to cheer at! Hilarious!

You can view the Video here.

Favourite Moment?

There are many, including Swansea’s promotion to the Championship after becoming League One champions in 2008, but no moment can match the millisecond that you know Swansea have scored a goal against Cardiff! The South Wales derby can really throw up some heated, tension filled fixtures, so when Swansea score a goal, the euphoria is unrivalled! Winning against Cardiff is super, but that first goal is usually the one that’ll decide it in these ultra-close, heated affairs! A brilliant feeling for any Swans fan!


One Response to “My Team & I: Swansea”

  1. Major enthusiast of this blog, a bunch of your blogposts have really helped me out. Looking towards news!

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