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Swansea City Football Club - Also known as "The Swans" - founded in 1912 as a professional team, and in possession of the Cyril the Swan, a very high profile and crazy mascot who thinks nothing of absailing down from the floodlights before games, and upsetting the away supporters. He has also been fined for his antics and banned from the touchline by the FAW.
SCFC - My home town club. I have been supporting them since meeting my other half 8 years ago, when he romantically invited me to 'go to the football with him' - who says Welsh men are chauvinists? I was not a football fan, but a few visits got me hooked.
Over the last 8 years I have witnessed quite a few highs, and even more lows. I was not priveleged to be a supporter through the heady John Toshack days, when they flew up from the fourth to the old first division, taking a few scalps with them en-route, and their subsequent drop back down, accompanied by the threat of bankruptcy.
During my 8 years, I have been to Wembley twice, where we beat Huddersfield in the Autoglass (where are they now?), and lost to Northampton in the third division play-offs (who came back down two seasons later - only to be promoted with us again during the 1999/2000 season). And now we've been relegated again as the Bluebirds are promoted. Another season of this and we could be relishing future football in Swansea in the FAW League. Welsh teams don't even have the privelege of being able to play in the Conference.
During the FA cup runs, we saw off Middlesborough when they were top of the First Division, held West Ham to a draw at Upton Park (I was there), and beaten them in the replay and got slaughtered at St. James Park by Newcastle, if only we hadn't missed a sitter in the first few minutes, the outcome may have been different, but well thats football.
The club has churned out a few stars, including Robbie James (sadly deceased), Alan Curtis, Jeremy Charles, Leighton James, Dean Saunders, Des Little, Chris Coleman, Andy Melville, and Toshack & Molby as managers to name a few.
Our management history has also been chequered, when I arrived on the scene, it was Frankie Burrows, then some guy we've never heard of Cullis, Jan Molby, Micky Adams (for all of 14 days), Alan Cork, John Hollins and more recently Colin Addisson. We have also been bought, nearly sold, nearly sold again, sold and are now up for sale again, of and have been sold again and now bought out by a consortium (oh dear) - we are becoming to the football world what Arthur Daly's car lot must have been to the motor trade.
There is the lure of a major 25,000 seater stadium on the cards, but with our recent performances on the pitch, I don't think we will have much call for this in the LoW - the conference is not an option for Welsh clubs - still, what a brilliant opportunity, being promoted as champions from the third division into a new stadium (we all have a dream, don't we?)
After promotion as champions 1999/2000 season with a ridiculously low number of goals scored, and an even lower number against - accompanied by Roger Freestone breaking all sorts of records, we are now back in the third division, as Cardiff sailed back up into the second, under the successful guidance of 'Sam', and half the old Swansea City team to boot. There was to be no Coventry Houdini act for us this season (oh well, Coventry didn't manage to pull it off either).
The "Swans" have a faithful core following, and the atmosphere at the Vetch is good, accompanied by lots of noisy Welsh singing, and friendly banter about sheep. The club has fans from all over the world, Why? you may ask. Many are exiled through work and family commitments, others just enjoy following a team, where every minor success is an achievement, but where failure comes close at heel.
The likes of Man U are brilliant, but following them becomes too easy (don't be ridiculous I hear you say) - but having visited Old Trafford last April (2001), (not with the Swans I hasten to add) combined with a visit to the International Lounge they really have got everything, and the struggles have gone, where's the challenge in this?
If you are an away supporter visiting the Vetch, you should be assured of a warm welcome, but avoid the Singleton, The Swansea Jack, The Pantygwydr and the Garibaldi all pubs close to the ground. There is a minority 'hooligan' element, but trouble usually tends to be restricted to 'local' games.
COST The North Bank: £10 (2001/2002 Season) Away supporters pay £10 a visit. If you are an exiled Swans fan, the North Bank is £10, but students and OAP's get in for £5 with ID.
I know the ratings below don't confirm it - but no they are not fun to watch at the moment - but they are my team and I will support them through thick and thin.
For more comprehensive information on the club - check out the very popular unofficial website at http://www2.prestel.co.uk/gmartin/index.html
a great review! although they are my home team also, ive never supported them! i hate hate hate that cyril!! hes so naughty and he frightens me when the mascot visits the store i work in! great review anyway! (although, might need updating a bit now as the vetch is no longer their home grounds!!) :) xx
Bouncebackability 28.06.2005 19:08
Hia! Good review there! I'm a massive Swansea City supporter and have supported them for 6 years. We've booked our front row season tickets for The white rock!
Claire x x
n13roy 21.01.2005 11:36
Hello Sue...Nice review on our home team here...Roy