Date: 9th November 2008 at 5:20pm
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Chelsea midfield star Frank Lampard says how his loan stay with Swansea City 13 years ago helped him develop as a player.

17 years old at the time, he arrived at the Vetch Field as an unknown from West Ham in 1995, and started 8 games, scoring 1 goal.

He said:

‘I would suggest to any young player going out on loan because it was great for me, although going to Swansea and the old Vetch Field was the extreme at the time.’

‘It was great for me, I grew up a lot and I scored one goal against Brighton, a little one-two and chipped the keeper. I remember it very well.’

‘I hit the bar in the game too that day, but I had one goal in two months. I didn`t set the world alight by any means, but I certainly grew up as a player and a person.’

‘I know all about the Vetch and some of the conditions there and anyone who has been there would know what I was on about, we were on the verge of relegation at the time with one or two thousand there abusing us every week.’

‘I was a 17-year-old lad trying to play football but the ball would being going over heads backwards and forwards, but it was great and did much for me in terms of character and strength building, I have a lot of good memories of the place.’

‘I remember going to Swansea in my Fiesta four hours down the motorway with my music blaring.’

‘I was clearly out of my depth because I was a boy going to be amongst men. It was a huge learning curve for me and I had to grow up very quickly.’

‘I would recommend those sort of experiences to any young player.’

‘Look at things now and it`s very difficult to break into the first team at Chelsea, but going out to find what football is like when you`re trying to win three points rather than reserve football is very good experience for any young player.’