...and it's starting to get a bit "real" now, isn't it?
Listen to the John Hartson interview on TalkSport
While we're talking about the final - Bradford's official site have released some early team news. Before beating Wycombe 3-0 on the 12th of February, Bradford hadn't actually won in the league since Boxing Day, and with lots of injuries mentioned, it's possible a prolonged cup run has had it's effect on the squad. Lots of their players won't be familiar names to Swansea fans, but Rory McArdle has been a regular in the side since signing from Aberdeen, and will be hoping he can overcome an ankle injury in time for Sunday's final. The centre-back returned to training on Tuesday but it remains to be seen whether he'll be fit in time.
|Nahki Wells (Left)|
Nahki Wells, meanwhile, has shown he has somewhat more of a knack to finding the back of the net. So far he's bagged eighteen goals in thirty-eight games this season, with three of those coming from six starts in the League Cup. Swansea will definitely have to watch out for the wee man from Bermuda, who is proving to be somewhat of a hit with Bradford fans. He started his career at a club with possibly the best moniker I've ever heard - The Dandy Town Hornets. They, of course, play in the Pembroke Parish, but play their league football in the Cingular Wireless Premier Division, and actually won the league last season. Wells scored 20 goals in 18 games for the Hornets, before a succession of moves let to him attending the Richmond International Academic & Soccer Academy in Leeds.
|Shaun Goater. Intelligent chap.|
On a nice let's-find-something-to-link-the-Swans-and-Bradford note, anyone remember Gary Jones? I'd be lying if I said the Birkenhead-born midfielder left any impression on me, but I do remember him signing for us from Caernarfon. He only managed eight games for us, but his memories of how Swansea City used to be run show how much the club has changed:
|Gary Jones. Looks quite like Karl |
"Jan Molby signed me many years ago now and I'm very grateful for them for giving me my first professional contract. I wasn't there that long - I got shipped out to Rochdale on loan. Alan Cork released me after Micky Adams' two weeks in charge.
"It was disappointing but I'm grateful that they gave me my start in professional football. All things happen for a reason and obviously that's what happened. A lot of credit has got to go to them because of what they've achieved. They were in a position we are now so it just shows you what can be done with the right management, chairman and right backing.
"Hopefully we can take a leaf out of their book so we can be where they are in a few years' time." Gary Jones
Three managers in a year - remember that? As I was saying recently, it really is nice to have that in the back of your mind as it helps keep the club grounded. More than ever, I think it's important the club retains staff where possible as the more ties the club has to the less illustrious past, the easier it will be to counter-act any "glamourisation" of Swansea City FC which is inevitable given their current standing. As Gary points out, it's amazing what you can do with right people at the helm.