In our final programme page of the season, Swans Trust Chair Andy Godden shares his thoughts on today’s game, and this season.
Firstly, can I just say it’s good to be back at the Liberty Stadium! It’s a shame that only around 3,000 fans can attend today’s game, but we have to start somewhere, and it is at least a sign that things are starting to return to normal. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the efforts of everyone involved, from the wonderful club staff who have worked so hard to enable this event to happen, the local and Welsh Government authorities for their support, and importantly also the fans for helping to make the process as smooth as possible. We know many more fans would love to be in attendance this evening, so it falls on all of us lucky enough to be here to represent those unable to attend, and be even louder in supporting the team as we aim to get to Wembley and back to the Premier League!
We find ourselves in a very positive position, having earned a hard-fought 1-0 win at Oakwell in the first leg. In many ways it was a microcosm of our entire season, with our undoubted defensive solidity augmented by positive attacking play, all capped off by the genius that is Andre Ayew. When he cut onto his left foot we all expected him to curl it into the far corner, which only goes to show how highly we regard Andre and how important he’s been for us, in both spells with the club.
No doubt Barnsley will redouble their efforts to try and turn the tie around, however we have every confidence in Steve and the team, and that we will stand up to the challenge!
We should remember that the position we find ourselves in is a direct result of the hard work of so many people at our club. We cannot speak highly enough of the job Steve Cooper and his coaching team have done in earning two consecutive playoff places, which have been achieved in quite exceptional circumstances. We can’t underestimate the challenges that we have faced with the shortened calendar, with games every three or four days for large chunks of the season. To maintain such a strong challenge, often up against teams with considerably bigger budgets, is an excellent achievement. Everyone at the club deserves to see their efforts rewarded with a return to the Premier League, and we have every confidence we will get there!
Finally, can I take the opportunity to thank so many of you for joining the Swans Trust this season. Our voice is only as strong as our membership, and by joining the Trust you have helped us ensure the voice of the fans is heard loudly within our club. We continue to develop a very strong working relationship on the ground with the club’s management team, and that has proven extremely important over the last year in particular. Through our regular communications, I hope you have seen all the good work we have done representing the interests of the fans, and we hope as many fans as possible will join or rejoin the Trust when our 2021/2 membership opens in the summer.
Stay Safe and Best Wishes
Chair: Swansea City Supporters’ Trust