Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Club focus - Swansea City

Although I worked for a short time in Swansea, it was summer and there was no football on. Up until last week when I saw Swansea beat Fulham in the Premier League I had only been to 2 games that they had played in. Once was against Fulham and once was against Brentford, both games were in London, in the fourth tier and yielded zero goals. Now it seems that I can't avoid them, as I was visiting London last week I saw them beat Fulham, in a couple of weeks I have cheap tickets for their visit to Norwich and I'll hopefully see them at Villa over Christmas.

Swansea Town, as they were called; they didn't become City until Swansea became a city in 1970 were formed in 1912 in what was a predominately rugby playing area. They adopted an all white kit, which was the same as the rugby team and have kept the colours ever since apart from in the odd seasons when they wore black shorts.

Swansea from their inception took up a residency at the Vetch which had been football pitches for the local league and had previously been used for growing cow food, known as vetch for cattle. They moved to their current ground, the Liberty Stadium in 2005 which heralded a period that has been one of the most successful in the club's history.

After starting out life in the Southern League, Swansea became founder members of Division 3 when football was resumed after World War 1 in 1920. They stayed here until 1925 when they won promotion to the second division. Some of the highlights for the club in the 1930's included a Welsh Cup win over Wrexham in 1932 and Wilfe Milne getting his first goal in 501 games in 1934. Someone in the league definitely didn't like them though, as in 1936 they played Plymouth away on Good Friday and Newcastle away on Easter Saturday, and to Mourinho thinks he has it bad with the fixtures.

For most of the next 20 years Swansea were in the second division with a few bad seasons in the third. Things went from bad to worse when they were relegated from Division 2 in 1965, which came as no surprise as they had been flirting with relegation for years. In 1967 relegation to Division 4 followed. However, despite the poor showing the first season saw a record crowd of nearly 33,000 crowd into the Vetch for a game in the FA Cup against Arsenal.

The change of the name from Town to City in 1970 saw the Swans clinch promotion and they hung around in the third tier until 1974. The season later the club were in real dire straits with poor crowds and had to seek re-election to the league.

The next period in the club's history was one of turbulent change for the Swans. Consecutive promotions between 1978 to 1981 saw them climb from the bottom tier to the top tier. By 1985 though they were back where they started in the bottom tier.

The period up until the move to the Liberty Stadium saw Swansea confined to the lower divisions. In the first season at the Liberty, which was also their first season back in League 1, saw them miss out on promotion after losing on penalties in the play off final to Barnsley.

In 2008 the Swans got back into the second tier after amassing an impressive 92 points. They managed to hold their own in the division and only missed out on the play offs by one point. In 2011 Swansea were finally back in the top division and last season they won their first major silverware by beating Bradford in the League Cup final and are at the moment still in Europe.

This season's home shirt:

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