Unless you’ve been hiding away in a hole for the last few days, you should know by now that Swansea City FC have made it into the Premier League. Like many Swans fans, Becca Taylor joined in celebrating this tremendous feat…
by Becca Taylor
As a medium term Swansea fan (my mum’s family are Swansea born and bred and I’ve rather liked the Jacks for a few years now) I was a strange mixture of nerves and excitement as play-off final day arrived on Bank Holiday Monday. Dedicated as I am, I travelled back from deepest darkest Kent to watch the game in JC’s with a group of fellow fans, and was not disappointed as one of the most exciting games I have ever seen unfolded before my eyes.
The atmosphere in JC’s was (excuse the cliché) electric, and as we watched the Swans sail comfortably into the lead at half time, there was an air of confidence amongst the fans. Three goals had sailed past Federici, with two beauts from golden boy Scott Sinclair. Reading’s seeming tactic of fighting dirty had won us a penalty, and the boys looked like they were on form in the second part of the first half.
However, whatever was said in the Reading locker room at half time must have had a profound effect because the Royals came out fighting. Resting on their laurels, the Swans were somewhat caught off guard and the Reading comeback began with two goals, one an own goal by Joe Allen. The mood became tense as fans were nerve-wracked with the worry Reading would pull back all the way, but Swansea were saved by another foul move by Reading and a penalty. Sinclair completed his hat-trick, and put Swansea firmly back in control of the match. The last ten minutes became a game of killing time, with Swansea focusing on keeping the ball away from Reading more than attempting a fifth goal. As the final whistle blew, relief and ecstasy swept through both the stadium and JC’s as the chants of ‘we are premier league, say we are premier league’ were in full force.
The atmosphere wasn’t restricted to JC’s however, as Amy Drawbridge commented on the scenes in the library, “the library was literally buzzing. People kept cheering whenever Swansea scored and actual applause broke out at the end of the match (accompanied by table banging). It was quite a proud moment for everyone really, even if you don’t like football.”
Oceana was surprisingly quiet, though I imagine the bars around Swansea and on Wind St were probably busier, as people continued the drinking in celebration. There was certainly a great feeling knowing Swansea had done what Cardiff couldn’t and made it to the top flight of what is now the British Premier League. The Swansea players joined the rest of us later on and were treated to the V-suite – for Premier League players only.
Tuesday evening brought the players back home for a welcome party and they rode through the sunny Swansea streets in open top buses, waving and taking photos to the adoring crowds. Thousands of fans turned out to greet the champions, and they gathered in front of Brangwyn Hall for a word from the man of the hour, Brendan Rogers. His career has as much been restored as Swansea’s has, and I can’t help but feel Reading must be regretting sacking him back in 2009. He is a pivotal part in Swansea’s eight year turnaround, coming from nearly being out of the league entirely, to securing promotion to the Premiership. I for one have great faith in his ability to take us from strength to strength in what I hope will be the first of many seasons in the top league. We’ve got tough games ahead, and it is vital we hold on to critical players like Sinclair and Dyer, especially with the news that Borini has left. I wish the Swans all the best, and can’t wait for season 2011-2012!