You may have read recently of the agreement that the Swans have signed with the North Shore United Club (NSU) from Wisconsin, making NSU the first official youth partner club of the Swans in the USA.
The arrangement will see the Swans provide NSU with its training curriculum and send academy coaches to America to train players and coaches. The Swans’ training facilities will be made available to NSU teams for visits to Swansea, while all their teams from under-9 to under-19 will wear Swansea City kit in matches throughout the Midwest.
The four-year agreement with the Wisconsin-based outfit firms up an informal pact between the clubs that dates back to 2010 and with which the Supporters’ Trust played a key role.
The idea of a partnership was born out of a visit from Mark Koenig (then President of NSU) and Sinisa Angelovski (NSU’s Technical Director U15-U19) to Swansea in 2010. With the full support of the Club and the Trust, our then Supporter Director Huw Cooze began to develop the idea and you can read a little more on how things progressed in this article ahead of NSU’s visit to Swansea in 2016.
The visitors from Wisconsin were in Swansea this week on their fourth biennial visit to South Wales and have brought a 100 strong party of girls and boys teams along with coaches and parents. We caught up with them at the Landore training ground to speak about the developing partnership.
‘We were given a tour of the Liberty Stadium and then the training grounds. Where we are standing now was just flat land with the Club telling us that they hoped to build a facility here. Now it looks amazing. The Club has certainly come a long way and we are very proud to be a partner’.
‘The development and progression of the Club and facilities during the six or so years we have been coming over has been both fascinating and phenomenal. In 2012 we used the Club’s rented facilities at the University and saw the first team training at Llandarcy. By 2014, Landore was in use albeit without many of the current facilities. In 2016 we saw the progress at Fairwood – again with work still very much in progress out there and also classrooms being built here at Landore. Takes us then to this trip where every aspect of the facilities both at Landore and Fairwood is absolutely first class. It’s an environment where players can be trained to the highest level with every resource available to them. Great to see how players train, prepare and it’s been a great learning experience for not only our players but coaches also.’
Shannon Smyth (NSU Technical Director U11-U14) made her first trip over to Swansea in 2016 and was particularly pleased to see how much the ladies side of the Club had developed over here since her last visit.
The tour party had matches at Landore, Stebonheath Park in Llanelli and in Bridgend. On Saturday the whole group travel up to the Hawthorns to cheer on the Swans. They then head to London for a couple of days before returning home.