Sunday 2 June 2013

A Swan in Seattle: First season triumph!

With the football over, it's our pleasure here at ForzaSwansea to keep you entertained over the summer with some passionate blog posts, like this one from American Swansea City fan JACOB CRISTOBAL. He sums up his first season following the club perfectly!

So, the 2012-13 Premier League season is over. Fergie went out on a high, the hierarchy among the London clubs stayed the same and QPR learned what happened when they embark on a poor man’s Man City spending spree.

But none of that mattered much to me as I was following the journey of Swansea City as they ventured through their second year in the Premier League! What did this American - probably barely qualified to have an opinion on football - learn?

First and foremost, the chatter I saw on my Twitter feed on Saturday mornings was of two things: first, everyone who flashed the crest of the Swans wanted them to pick up three points. That’s a given with any supporter of any club. Jubilation when it happened, frustration when it was anything else.

The second thing was that, much like last season, everyone was just happy to be there. No one has taken the journey for granted, especially since this May the club marked the ten year anniversary of that match against Hull City - of course everyone reading this knows what happened there.

Where the first year in the Prem was all about making sure they didn’t fall flat on their face and avoid being a “one and done,” the second year was showing everyone the first year was not a fluke.

Like everyone else, I fell in love with Michu so there’s not much else to say there that someone else hasn’t. What I wanted to happen and glad it did was that in following the club I got to know the rest of the squad - those that have been there throughout the journey and the fresh blood that Michael Laudrup brought with him.

Without a doubt, my other favourite player on the squad is Ben Davies. Talk about stepping up in a monumental way. I still think he should’ve been nominated for PFA Young Player of the Year over Manchester United’s Danny Welbeck and if Davies carries himself into the next season, he best be on the shortlist or there’s something fundamentally wrong in the voting system.

I just have to say that it’s been a lot of fun following this club, outside of my local Seattle Sounders FC. It wasn’t easy waking up at the crack of dawn every Saturday morning to fire up the computer to tune in, but man was it fun demolishing QPR on opening day, Davies silencing a winger like Nani, Rangel’s humanitarian side and - of course - winning at Wembley.

I think that last one is the highlight that no one in their wildest imagination saw coming this season. I know all I wanted was a finish in the top ten. We got that. Now they’re looking at the summer transfer window for purposes of having enough bodies for the Europa? Wow.
Then again, European competition, top ten finishes, and building a reputation as possibly the next hot/big thing most likely is the culmination of what chairman Huw Jenkins has in mind. Just like the fans I’ve gotten to know across social media and through this outlet, those that run the club are not taking any of this for granted. They’re doing what they can to tell everyone that they are very legit and are here to stay. We all know that the modern game is wide open to the “here take this giant sack of money and win” ideology - yet here are Swansea City, the plucky underdogs that are doing it right.

Interviews from Jenkins and Laudrup confirm that to me. Sure it worries me that the rising stock of the club and their players draw the bigger clubs to try and poach the players, but that’s sports for you. Happens everywhere, like it or not.

At the same time though, it is pretty cool that others are taking notice of what’s going on at Liberty Stadium. I can’t help but find a similarity with how the hometown club Seattle Sounders FC have done it as well. Just like the Swans, they are fairly new to the league, yet they’ve made a whole lot of noise in such a short history. I guess the only thing left is for the two clubs to strike a partnership, resulting in me giddy like a schoolgirl.

I don’t know what will happen next season other than I know it will be something worth remembering. It’s been a lot of fun following this club some 4,600 miles away and the people that have welcomed me into the fold have been some class folks and I hope to have a pint with them soon.

A decade ago, Swansea City were about to fall off the football cliff. Now they’re making plans for European competition. I can’t even imagine what it must be like for those who were at that match against Hull City to be here now. I’m sure there aren’t enough words to describe it, but put a gun to my head and I would say the word that embodies the season was: fun.

Now the club just needs to hurry up and unveil the new kits so I can buy them.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post, good to seem your still a local fan ........ Badfinger taffy.