While Swansea City was on their US tour this month, World Soccer Talk had a chance to speak with Swansea City legend Leon Britton to discuss his future at the club.
Last season, the gifted midfielder began the season with a focus on helping train Swansea’s u14 academy team. While the u14’s showed lots of promise, Britton has also been impressed by the younger players who are trying to break into the first team. Players such as Joe Rodon, Oliver McBurnie, Dan James, Adam King and Jay Fulton have been getting plenty of minutes for the Swans during the preseason friendlies, and have been putting in positive performances.
“Hopefully this batch of lads coming through now, we’re seeing the fruits of what’s been put in place,” said Britton. “Over the years, the first team has pushed on so much that the academy has been playing catch up. Whereas now, the coaching is in place and you’re starting to see the benefits of that with these new young lads coming through.”
Looking back at last season, few people would have expected Britton to get so much playing time especially after the season started with then manager Garry Monk favoring Jonjo Shelvey as the starter in the midfield ‘general’ position.
But on November 21, Britton made his first start of the 2015/16 season where he continued to be one of the first names on the team sheet for the remainder of the season. As a result of Britton’s hard work and adding steel to the Swans midfield, he played a huge role in helping Swansea City escape relegation, with the club ending the season in a comfortable 12th place.
With the acquisition of Leroy Fer this summer from loanee to a fully-fledged Swansea footballer, it looks probable that Britton’s playing time on the pitch may be reduced during the 2016/17 season.
Still, Britton is already planning for the future while remaining a key cog in the Swansea City dressing room.
“I started my UEFA A-License this summer, so that takes me a year to qualify,” said Britton. “So by next June, I’ll be qualified to be an A (level) coach. This year, I’ll be looking to coach the U-17 and U-19’s.
“I’m 34 in a couple of months, so I need to look at the next steps that I need to take when I put my boots away.”
While Britton will be an active member of the playing staff and helping to coach the academy players, he’s the type of player that has proven time after time that he is the engine in the Swansea ‘boiler room.’ With his ability to recycle the ball, win back possession and create link-up play to start attacks, we haven’t seen the last of Britton by any means. Even though it’s likely that Leroy Fer will play a key role for Francesco Guidolin’s team, Britton still has plenty to offer the Welsh club.
25+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
- Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
- Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
- Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
- Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
- Starting price: $4.99/mo.
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
- $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
- Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
- Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family