After my interview with Alan Curtis
proved popular among ForzaSwansea readers, I hunted down another Swansea City legend for an exclusive chat - Lee Trundle.
The former fan favourite striker was a prolific goalscorer for the club, notching up 83 goals during 166 appearances over two stints. But it wasn't just his goals that sees him dubbed a star - his confidence, charisma, club pride and, of course, his big bag of tricks really did it for Swans fans!
He remains with Swansea City as the club ambassador and a youth squad coach, though he was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to meet up and give us an exclusive interview about his current role, his past games and other footballing issues. Enjoy!
Chris Carra: So, you've settled into your new role as club ambassador - how are you finding it?
|Lee in his new role as club ambassador|
Lee Trundle: It's brilliant. Obviously when I was a player I used to try and get out to as many things as I could, like schools and hospitals, but now it's part of my job and this is what I do day in, day out and there's nothing better. I've always loved mixing with the Swansea fans so to have that as my job now is a dream come true.
CC: You do the match day hosting too don't you?
LT: Yeah, I do the match days up in the lounge, but my main day-to-day stuff is going out and meeting people. I've been out to a soccer school this morning and that was brilliant. I'm always really busy - every single day I'll be working in the morning and afternoon. I'm over at the club shop this afternoon, so I'm always doing something.
CC: And you still play football from time to time?
LT: Yeah, I play in Liverpool for my two local teams, where I grew up. When Swansea are away it gives me chance to travel back. Because I've got a young daughter in Liverpool it gives me a chance to go back and see her and my family. So if I'm back I'll have a game for the local teams as well.
CC: I'm sure I heard you signed for a team in Swansea too?
LT: I had signed for Brunswick, but I needed international clearance to play for both, so I never played a league game for them.
CC: Moving back onto the Swans - it hasn't been the best of seasons. It was great being in Europe, but it's been a really poor league performance. What was behind everything falling apart?
LT: I think the Europa League has taken its toll. We haven't got the biggest squad and the extra games were tough. Although we loved the experience of being in Europe, and I think the Swansea fans did as well, I think it's the same thing – every team that's in the Europa League always struggle in the [domestic] league. They always find themselves in the bottom half, most of them, so I think that played a massive part in where we were this year. It's a lot of travelling and it takes its toll in the end.
CC: When you were a player, what was your favourite game with the Swans?
LT: It would have to be the Millennium Stadium final (vs Carlisle United, April 2006), with the early goal and winning the cup and everything that went on – it would have to be that one.
CC: And the worst you played in?
LT: That would probably have to be... the Barnsley play-off final (May 2006), getting beaten on penalties. Although I was subbed that game, I'd done well myself but just the feeling of getting beaten that way, I'd never felt like that in any other Swansea game, even when I'd played my worst.
CC: Who is your favourite player to watch in the squad at the moment?
LT: Obviously Wilfried Bony has been brilliant and for me he has been my player of the year this season, but my favourite player is Leon Britton. To go through the leagues and to still be outstanding in every single division that you are in, you have to be a class player to do that.
CC: Who would be your ideal dream summer signing for Swansea?
LT: If it was a dream one it would have to be Ronaldo – definitely. People go on about Ronaldo and Messi, but for me Ronaldo has got more than Messi.
CC: That would be a great addition! What about a realistic signing?
LT: When I think of signings I always think of strikers, because they are the ones that win you games. A striker would be good, with the cloud over Michu because he hasn't played much this year, but... it's a tough one...
CC: Finally - who's going to win the World Cup?
LT: I'm going to go for Brazil. I'll support England, but for me England are the same every year – they've got great individual players, but they don't seem to click. For me, if I was Roy Hodgson, I would play Liverpool's system. I would keep the Liverpool players in and then just put Rooney where Suarez is, because I think their system has worked well this season. It's attacking, so I'd go that way if I was him.
CC: Being the half Italian stallion that I am (or maybe more of an Italian donkey?), I will be passionately supporting Italy. How do you reckon they will fare?
LT: Yeah they are a strong team and with the World Cup it's hard to call really, because until you see the first couple of games and you can see how the teams are, it's difficult. For me I think Germany have got a chance, I think they're very strong. It's the same teams all the time – Belgium as well, they have quality players but it's how they work together.
A big thanks to Lee for taking the time to speak with me. If you want to read more about his career and life as a Swansea City star, check out his book - More Than Just Tricks.