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Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona 23:04 - Jun 28 with 1435 viewsRock



https://theathletic.co.uk/2670796/2021/06/25/swansea-city-producing-as-many-play

Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona

Laurie Whitwell and Jacob Whitehead

When it comes to ranking the academies supplying the most players at this European Championship, would it surprise you to learn Swansea City account for as many as Barcelona?

La Masia is on par with Landore — the facility based in the shadow of the Liberty Stadium — by laying claim to the development of seven players competing at Euro 2020.

In research conducted by The Athletic, Swansea rank joint-10th for academy products, with Ajax, unsurprisingly, accounting for the highest total on 16. The Dutch club finds fingerprints on the Netherlands squad as well as those of Belgium, Denmark and Hungary.

The table below shows the top-ten rankings for academy representation at this summer’s Euros, with Manchester City second on 11, and Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Benfica also well represented. Manchester United narrowly miss out having produced six players. (Mason Greenwood’s withdrawal from Gareth Southgate’s squad proves pivotal here.) Swansea are the highest second-tier team on the list.



Swansea’s position is exclusively down to qualification by Wales, in a similar way to other clubs on the list. Dinamo Zagreb are the lifeblood of Croatia, Dynamo Kyiv supply Ukraine, Lech Poznan feed Poland, and Rabotnicki, the least well-known of all, provide for North Macedonia. Still, for Swansea, a Championship club based in a city of 240,000, to be rubbing shoulders with some of the game’s biggest teams suggests they are doing something right.

Connor Roberts embodies that spirit as well as anybody. The 25-year-old from nearby Neath joined Swansea’s academy when he was nine and has risen through the ranks to play more than 150 times for his hometown club, winning 29 Wales caps. He scored his second international goal by adding the gloss to victory over Turkey last week, and in the dressing room afterwards allowed himself a moment to reflect on his journey.

“After the game, having messages from literally everyone I know, who has supported me, it almost brought a tear to my eye,” he says. “I’d worked so hard for a moment like that, and it actually happened.”

Roberts has little trouble reeling off the six other Swansea graduates readying to face Denmark in the last 16. Joe Rodon, Daniel James, Ben Davies and Joe Allen are all mainstays of the starting XI, while Ben Cabango and Rhys Norrington-Davies, who subsequently progressed through Sheffield United’s system, are gaining valuable experience.

Having initially joined Swansea in 2004, Roberts has been at the club at the same time as all of them, even though Cabango is the only current team-mate. Allen left for Liverpool in 2012, Davies departed for Tottenham Hotspur in 2014, James signed for Manchester United in 2019 and Rodon joined Spurs last summer.

“I was there with pretty much all of them, I’ve seen them grow alongside me, get their debuts, play really well, get the plaudits,” says Roberts. “Then it’s nice to line up with Wales knowing there are players who have been on a similar journey to you, know what it’s like to play for Swansea and more importantly for Wales.”

Cardiff City account for four players — Aaron Ramsey, Chris Gunter, Tom Lockyer and Rubin Colwill — with Wrexham supplying one in Danny Ward.

“We have a couple of superstars but the squad is littered with players who have been at clubs similar to Swansea and worked really hard to get in this position,” Roberts adds. “When we do line up, we have players who want to give everything, so it’s all for the better.”

Roberts and James are close, and there is also a long friendship with Davies, who is 28.

“Ben Davies is from the little village by me, so we played rugby together when we were very little,” Roberts explains. “I played for Crynant, he was Seven Sisters. I also played with him at Swans football at youth team once.

“Seeing him break into the Swans team then the Wales team and doing really well, it motivated me to try and do that. To see him in the first team, all my mates and the people around where I’m from were giving him the plaudits, as he deserved, it’s weird to find myself in a similar position now. Hopefully, I can continue to make them prouder.”

The set-up at Swansea has come on hugely since Roberts first signed up. Using revenue from seven seasons in the Premier League, Swansea invested £8.5 million, adding a lecture theatre with full match-analysis facilities and a new indoor barn including a 4G astroturf pitch.

“I initially joined Swansea City development at the time because they didn’t have an academy, then I eventually signed for the centre of excellence,” he says. “We always joke with Ben Davies about how when we were younger we used to train in a community park. It wasn’t the set-up it is nowadays. We used to get on the minibus every weekend, go to places like Torquay and Swindon and Yeovil, so it’s changed a lot.”

Quite. Now Roberts travels in a luxury coach, and the destinations are Baku, Rome and Amsterdam.

The statistics perhaps provide a cautionary note to Swansea, who last summer downgraded their academy from Category One to Category Two. The shift reportedly saves £4 million per year, but if it leads to a diminished production line that would be a shame.

In purely business terms, their success in developing talent has provided dividends. Allen was sold for £13 million, Rodon for £15 million, James for £18 million while Davies, alongside Michel Vorm, was swapped with Spurs for Gylfi Sigurdsson, who later transferred to Everton in a deal worth £45 million.

All that being said, money is a distant concern to the Swansea boys representing their country this summer. “I want to make my own memories and show people what I’m about,” says Roberts.
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Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 23:12 - Jun 28 with 1412 viewsKeithHaynes

Good post 👍

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Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 05:53 - Jun 29 with 1199 viewsDwightYorkeSuperstar

It's a statistic that when studied holistically paints a deeply troubling issue in Welsh football.

Only three professional football teams in Wales developed players who contributed to the national team this tournament (Swansea, Cardiff and Wrexham). Wales are heavily reliant on English football teams to develop players eligible to play for Wales.

Hence it's little surprise the team with the deepest financial resources in the country over the last decade contributed the most.

I'd imagine there would be uproar if, for example, over half of England's squad came through academies in France or Spain. There would be questions as to why these players aren't coming through in England.

What are the Welsh FA doing to address this? It's little wonder we're left with whatever scraps we can take from the mammoth pile of English academy based footballers; who aren't good enough to play for England but might have a neighbour who's cousin once holidayed in West Wales and therefore is eligible to further their career through playing football for Wales.

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Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 09:03 - Jun 29 with 904 viewsCatullus

Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 05:53 - Jun 29 by DwightYorkeSuperstar

It's a statistic that when studied holistically paints a deeply troubling issue in Welsh football.

Only three professional football teams in Wales developed players who contributed to the national team this tournament (Swansea, Cardiff and Wrexham). Wales are heavily reliant on English football teams to develop players eligible to play for Wales.

Hence it's little surprise the team with the deepest financial resources in the country over the last decade contributed the most.

I'd imagine there would be uproar if, for example, over half of England's squad came through academies in France or Spain. There would be questions as to why these players aren't coming through in England.

What are the Welsh FA doing to address this? It's little wonder we're left with whatever scraps we can take from the mammoth pile of English academy based footballers; who aren't good enough to play for England but might have a neighbour who's cousin once holidayed in West Wales and therefore is eligible to further their career through playing football for Wales.


Only three professional football teams in Wales developed players who contributed to the national team this tournament (Swansea, Cardiff and Wrexham). Wales are heavily reliant on English football teams to develop players eligible to play for Wales.

How many pro teams are there in Wales.....rhetorical!

Now Barcelona, ok we supplied as many to the Euros as them but how many of the same quality? How many do we send to the Copa America?

It's not a troubling issue, does anyone really care if our Welsh team is full of players from others countries clubs if those players were good enough? If Barcelona supplied 4 players to Wales and we went to the final who'd complain?Do we care where good players come from, Pat Van Den Hauwe and...Vinny Jones

Just my opinion, but WTF do I know anyway?
Blog: In, Out, in, out........

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Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 09:28 - Jun 29 with 868 viewsbuilthjack

Will the Jamaican lad be playing tonight?
A good player.

Swansea Independant Poster Of The Year 2021

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Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 09:39 - Jun 29 with 855 viewsBrynmill_Jack

Actually I find him quite holistic …..

Each time I go to Bedd - au........................

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Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 09:45 - Jun 29 with 842 viewsonehunglow

You might want to read what he posted and address the text .

Odd is subjective. This might upset you but many will see you as such.

If anyone swims against the tide here,we see this cr@p.

Poll: So,who is dwight.Let's nail this then

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Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 09:47 - Jun 29 with 840 viewsonehunglow

Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 09:03 - Jun 29 by Catullus

Only three professional football teams in Wales developed players who contributed to the national team this tournament (Swansea, Cardiff and Wrexham). Wales are heavily reliant on English football teams to develop players eligible to play for Wales.

How many pro teams are there in Wales.....rhetorical!

Now Barcelona, ok we supplied as many to the Euros as them but how many of the same quality? How many do we send to the Copa America?

It's not a troubling issue, does anyone really care if our Welsh team is full of players from others countries clubs if those players were good enough? If Barcelona supplied 4 players to Wales and we went to the final who'd complain?Do we care where good players come from, Pat Van Den Hauwe and...Vinny Jones


Were we really proud when Vincent Jones captained our national team and Bobby Gould managed .
For me it was stomach turning stuff.

A shameful period for Cymru

NB. Dwight ,whoever he is,is without out doubt one of the best posters.If he's on a wind up then it's brilliant ,if not he is tying people up in knots. He never insults,abuses or disrespects anyone but gets more filth than anyone.

He's got you all tied instead out.

Who is he Kenny? Come on,you're supposed to be a straight talking ,honest working class boy so tell us and put this to bed or are you in on this puerile drivel too.

[Post edited 29 Jun 2021 9:51]

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Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 09:53 - Jun 29 with 830 viewsonehunglow

Just a shame to see we are where we are then. We should be producing players to play for us and stay around.

Poll: So,who is dwight.Let's nail this then

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Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 10:45 - Jun 29 with 810 viewsjasper_T

Welsh players being developed in England is obviously not the same as English players being developed in France. Wales and England are part of the same country, with no proper border or bit of sea dividing. Movement east for opportunities is common in many careers, not just football.

And we're far from the only UEFA nation to utilise players developed under the umbrella of another FA. It's a bonus to Welsh football that we've been able to access the resources within the English FA (and PL) thanks to Swansea being involved when it was still considered the British Football League.
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Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 11:56 - Jun 29 with 768 viewsKeithHaynes

This is a very positive thread on the club and what it does and continues to do. If it was Cardiff we would be green with envy. It isn’t, suck it up and be positive. Jeez.

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Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 13:02 - Jun 29 with 739 viewsonehunglow

Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 11:56 - Jun 29 by KeithHaynes

This is a very positive thread on the club and what it does and continues to do. If it was Cardiff we would be green with envy. It isn’t, suck it up and be positive. Jeez.


Let me respond.
We do not need to always pot what is deemed positive.Why? Because it makes us feel better. I get the impression it does. And that is no panacea .

When we have been rock bottom ,negative posts were applicable and rightly so.

Right now, we have a coach who's lost interest and best players have left or will leave so show me how that is positive.

Wales qualified for the knockout stages by drawing with the Swiss who were warming up,beating an abject Turkey and being basically patronised by Italy who swopped their keeper as a killing joke. THAT aint something for me to fawn over sorry.

Where is the SWANSEA talent going to. ?

Sometimes,one really has to look in the mirror

Poll: So,who is dwight.Let's nail this then

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Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 14:59 - Jun 29 with 674 viewsCatullus

Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 11:56 - Jun 29 by KeithHaynes

This is a very positive thread on the club and what it does and continues to do. If it was Cardiff we would be green with envy. It isn’t, suck it up and be positive. Jeez.


Thing is Keith, I am largely ambivalent and apathetic towards international football. I care more about how they play for the Swans than I do for Wales. As such, even though home grown players are great, I really don't care which academy they come through as long as when they come to us they do well.

Dan James, McBurnie, Cabango, I don't care where they came from.

Just my opinion, but WTF do I know anyway?
Blog: In, Out, in, out........

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Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 16:25 - Jun 29 with 605 viewsonehunglow

Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 14:59 - Jun 29 by Catullus

Thing is Keith, I am largely ambivalent and apathetic towards international football. I care more about how they play for the Swans than I do for Wales. As such, even though home grown players are great, I really don't care which academy they come through as long as when they come to us they do well.

Dan James, McBurnie, Cabango, I don't care where they came from.


Like conjoined twins.It' why I am.
I think Anfield77 finished for me. I realise then Wales would never qualify for a world cup . It's been proven thus.

Let's face it,most are more concerned with seeing England fail

Poll: So,who is dwight.Let's nail this then

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Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 23:57 - Jun 29 with 510 viewsbuilthjack

Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 09:47 - Jun 29 by onehunglow

Were we really proud when Vincent Jones captained our national team and Bobby Gould managed .
For me it was stomach turning stuff.

A shameful period for Cymru

NB. Dwight ,whoever he is,is without out doubt one of the best posters.If he's on a wind up then it's brilliant ,if not he is tying people up in knots. He never insults,abuses or disrespects anyone but gets more filth than anyone.

He's got you all tied instead out.

Who is he Kenny? Come on,you're supposed to be a straight talking ,honest working class boy so tell us and put this to bed or are you in on this puerile drivel too.

[Post edited 29 Jun 2021 9:51]


Ask him. You are pally now lol.
He won't tell you Ricky.

Swansea Independant Poster Of The Year 2021

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Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 08:28 - Jun 30 with 418 viewsonehunglow

Swansea City – producing as many players for Euro 2020 as Barcelona on 23:57 - Jun 29 by builthjack

Ask him. You are pally now lol.
He won't tell you Ricky.


You on morning

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