Dominic O’Shea has spent some time at the Daily Express and reports on how other people view the Swans.
I spent last week on work experience in the Sports Section of the Daily Express.
Upon arriving and being introduced to the editors and sub-editors, I was inevitably asked the question of where my football allegiance lied. These men of being an older generation to me, immediately had images (in their words) of Curtis, Toshack, and Leighton James. Many of them told me of trips to the Vetch Field and how poor the press box was, but how charmed they often were by the little old ground.
I was intrigued to listen to them telling me, a massive Swans fan, of the football we played before I was born, and to be honest I was slightly amazed as to how much of an impression our Swans made in our moment in the sun.
After all, many teams before and since have done a remarkable job in their first foray into the top flight, usually benefiting fully from being an unknown quantity, before tumbling back down after a good season (as the Swans did), so this was why I was so surprised that we were remembered so fondly.
The tales that my Dad and other fans had told me had always come from Jacks. I was flushed with pride when they re-told me the 5-1 stuffing of Leeds on the opening day of the ’81 season, from an objective viewpoint – and it was equally as good.
Eventually conversation moved on to how the Swans were doing at the moment. I said that we were in position to become a Championship club, and that hopefully Roberto Martinez was the man to take us forward. When asked about Kenny Jackett, I found myself complimentary. As I said in my last column, I was a supporter until not long before his departure – until it was abundantly obvious he couldn’t put consistent results together. I told them that he had done superbly (which he did) to take us up at the first attempt, and was unlucky to to get us promoted again, but that ultimately he had to go for spending too much and not providing promotion.
‘What about this new guy Martinez?’ they asked – not seeming overly enamored by the appointment. I echoed that sentiment, but then reeled off the statistic of 24 points from last 12 games, and they were pleased with the promise. They seemed genuinely interested – I think because they saw my passion for the sport and club – and wished the Swans the best for next season as well as myself. Also, there was a reporter who hailed from Neath (as I do), and maybe that’s why they were so interested!
All in all it was a great week and worthwhile experience, as I want to progress into Sports journalism, and I even wrote a few of the headlines in last weeks Daily Express, which was great. But a question for all you Swans fans – When you tell people that you support the Swans, what images spring to THEIR minds? And what do you tell them of the Swans? Submit your thoughts in the article comments.
Thanks to Dominic O’Shea for his latest column.