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The bright young players from Swansea City’s past - Revisited
Monday, 19th Apr 2021 09:00 by Keith Haynes

We’ve done a lucky ( or unlucky ) dip in to Swansea City’s academy and scholars from the 2014/15 season. A random selection of names that you may well have forgotten or indeed, have often wondered - what happened to them ? Their stories are there forever regardless of their achievements. From forging a career in football to gaining international caps after they left. It’s all gravy when your a footballer - isn’t it ?

Well, here we go, let’s set the scene, it’s the start of the 2014/15 season, Chico Flores has just left the club as has Pablo Hernandez, Jose Cańos, Wilfried Bony, Ben Davies, David Ngog, Alejandro Pozuelo and Michael Vorm, and that’s just to name a few. There were plenty of others, so the swans needed to get busy and quickly. Retaining the best the academy had to offer plus getting in new scholars because this was a club in the Premier League, every young player was a gamble but also an investment.

So where are some of those young guns now ?

Kurtis March - Left the swans in 2015 after three pro years at the club but failed to break into the first team. He was a big part of the development sides of the time signing at the age of 15. Born in 1993 he left Swansea at age 22, it would have been quite a blow for a young man who had promised a lot. Kurtis was originally at Cardiff City as a youth before signing for the swans. He went on to play Welsh league football at Aberystwyth, Port Talbot and then Llanelli. He is now 27, but his story doesn’t end there, he became a football agent and has not given up on the sports business and is still involved today as founder of the Phoenix Academy for 4 to 16 year olds. Professionally he doesn’t play any more and his current club isn’t known.

David Cornell - David was a product of the swans academy, a goalkeeper who at one point seemed to be just biding his time to make the step up to the first team. Obviously he had a lot of competition at the time, Michael Vorm had just left the club, Cornell had been on the bench the previous season on numerous occasions as back up due to injuries to Gerhard Tremmel and Vorm - but never made a senior league appearance for the club. He was at the Liberty for seven years. It was possibly Swansea’s success that went against David, understudy to Dorus Defries the swans had become a well respected Premier League as well as a major trophy winning side. Then Fabianski isIn the frame, tough times for David. When he did move he had his most successful spell at Northampton Town where he stayed for four years. Now age 28 he is at Ipswich where he has played six games. David has played a total of 183 games and starred in only one for the swans in the league cup against Scunthorpe in 2009.

Kyle Copp - Kyle still plays today and is at Llanelli. Copp joined the Swans at the age of just six, representing the club’s academy at every level for over a decade. Scouts from the biggest teams in the country would make trips to Mynydd Newydd playing fields in Swansea specifically to watch him play. That’s how much of a career lay ahead of him. It seemed a relief for Kyle from news stories of the time to ply his trade away from his home city. Yeovil were his first port of call then Merthyr Town. Kyle then travelled to Spain to play for a fairly new club CD Almuñecar City where he scored 9 goals in 8 games. It isn’t the highest of levels but for some reason he moved on to Atarfe Industrial in the Tercera division in Andalusia. Kyle ‘came home’ as such in 2019 signing for Llanelli Town, but then left for a season to play at Redditch United. He is now back at Llanelli. Although his professional record isn’t remarkable Kyle has seen a lot already. He is only 24, there could be much more to come ?

James Loveridge- In 2010, Loveridge joined the youth academy of Swansea City. During his youth years, Loveridge scored goals against Liverpool, Portsmouth and Manchester United in the FA Youth Cup. In May 2012, Loveridge was offered his first professional contract with Swansea City. On 19 April 2013, Loveridge signed a new one-year contract with Swansea, keeping him at the club until June 2014. After a loan spell at Milton Keynes Dons, Loveridge was rewarded with a new one-year contract with Swansea until June 2015. At that point James found himself looking for a new club. Karl Robinson at MK Dons liked him as a player but no move after a loan transpired. Then a loan at Newport was extended but again nothing materialised. Having played at under 17 and under 19 levels for Wales and receiving a Wales under 21 call up in 2014 it seemed James career would continue to get better. Sadly it didn’t, nowadays he plays for Haverfordwest County having been at Llanelli Town for a number of years although his football registration isn’t obvious at this moment in time.

Alex Gogić - Alex, now 27 is from Cyprus and many will recall him being at the clubs academy. Signed by the swans from Olympiacos youth set up in 2013 he spent four years in Wales. On being released by the swans he wasn’t disheartened and continued to pursue his dream of playing professional football. He made a successful move to Hamilton, joining the club as a free agent in February 2017 before making his debut in a 4-0 defeat against Hearts. Gogić originally joined the South Lanarkshire side as a centre-back, but in his second season season made a remarkable transition into a defensive midfielder under Brian Rice - and has since established himself as one of the most underrated midfielders in Scottish football. Now playing for Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership he may well feel his ambitions are achieved. A well liked player at Easter Road he has continued to improve as a player. Having reached a 100 professional games in Scotland and scoring the odd goal - he has been a near ever present this season for Hibernian. His stock is most certainly rising. In 2020 he made his international debut for Cyprus against the Czech Republic and has since gained two more caps.

Okay folks, what do you think, is this a bit more like it, do you remember those names from the premier league days in the youth and academy ranks ? Many of those players did suffer due to the standard they would have to step up in to in the Premier League, that’s just the way it is. Some have gone on and done well, others are concentrating on their businesses or just getting by in the Welsh League. Either way you have to admire these young kids from years gone by, they tried, in some cases they achieved but all of them pulled on the white shirt of Swansea City at numerous levels.

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All photos licensed from Reuters

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