The Rise of Swansea City - By a Cardiffian
|Michu scores the Winner at Stamford Bridge|
In many of my previous blogs I have made reference to going back in time to make comparisons with the modern-game.Whether it be 500 years ago with Tudor Football or 80 years into the past for the role of footballers in World War II. This time, we only need to look back 10 years to a club narrowly avoiding dropping out the Football League, performing in a crumbling stadium and the sheer thought of a Wembley Cup Final seeming impossible. The rise of Swansea City Football Club and indeed Welsh Football is nothing short of a fairy-tale.
Prior to2011 and the start of my first year in Swansea University, any feeling of compassion towards the Swans was scarce. Being brought up in Cardiff made the thought of ever rooting for the South-Wales rivals insane! However, the clubs emergence from the depths of the Football League, its footballing philosophy and ethos has prompted me to rethink my stance on Swansea City (being a Liverpool fan helps, especially when we won 5-0 last Sunday)!
Within the University, there is a strong sense of pride at the Welsh club’s recent success and a feeling shared with the majority of the locals or “Jacks” in Wales’ second largest city. The Football History Boys were recently asked if we had any blogs on the history of Swansea, something we rather needed to incorporate into our plans. For me, there is no better time than 2013 to chart the rise of Swansea into a top-half Premier League side and Capitol One Cup finalists.
|Newspaper recording Swansea's Win over Arsenal|
It is the 1927 FA Cup victory which even to this day Cardiff City fans use as a “one-over”their Welsh rivals. For Swansea fans it would seem about time they managed to get their hands on a piece of silverware to add to the FA Trophies and Welsh Cups sitting pretty at the Liberty Stadium. The last run to the last four of a major tournament was in 1964 when the side even defeated Bill Shankly’s Liverpool at Anfield 2-1, before losing the fellow Second Division team Preston North End.
|Swansea led out at Anfield|
|Swansea Player-Manager John Toshack|
|Former Premier League Side Bradford|
On Sunday there will be a soft spot for Michael Laudrup’s Swansea(controversial I know!), but the match means so much more than a local rivalry and getting one-over the Bluebirds. Of course it will be an added bonus for the Jacks to gloat about the possibility of winning the League Cup and doing what Malky Mackay’s side failed to do last year. Personally, the prospect of a Welsh club in Europe flying the Red Dragon to some of the continents major stadiums is too good an opportunity to miss. Welsh football is on the up and with Cardiff being a shoe-in for promotion to the Premier League we have the prospect of a South-Wales Derby on the biggest stage in World football (of course I will be supporting the Bluebirds in that case!). All in all, Swansea City really has epitomised the rise in Welsh football and long may it continue!
|Will there be more silverware for Gary Monk?|