Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Why Swansea feels just like home to Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers says he feels a strong personal connection to Swansea

Every week it seems that Brendan Rodgers is being linked with a new job.



Since Christmas there have been stories circulating about him taking over at Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal or Liverpool in the near future.

For the man himself, it's like water off a duck's back. All part of the beautiful game is how Rodgers sees it.

In any case it's obvious that the Antrim native, while admitting he will leave the Liberty Stadium one day, has a large degree of loyalty and love towards Swansea City.

He has not forgotten that the Swans took a chance on him two years ago when other clubs weren't willing to even grant him an interview after he left the Reading manager's job.

And it's not just the football club that has been good for Rodgers — he says the city as a whole helped him through the toughest of times when he lost both his parents.

“It is a city that has treated me very, very well. There's been a lot of personal heartache and people here have given me a great cushion and great support. It's something that I'll never forget wherever I go in my career,” he says.

“Swansea really reminds me of home. I left Carnlough at 16 and was based at Reading, which was a great town. I spent most of my life working there or in London, or in Watford.

“Coming here I felt I was coming back home especially with that similarity in the thinking between the Welsh and the Irish. I felt at peace here and that allows me to work and work well.

“When I came here my vision was simple: to make Swansea a sustainable club in the Barclays Premier League and to play attractive football.

“My motivation coming to Swansea, though, wasn't just to do with the club. My overall objective was to inspire the city, both in terms of football and life and be out there in the community supporting local causes and bringing people together and spreading the word of Swansea City globally.”

He's been successful in those aims and Swansea are doing their bit with plans to extend the Liberty Stadium’s capacity from just over 20,000 to 30,000.

But how far can Swansea really go?

And how long will Rodgers be there given that, despite signing a new three and a half year contract, the vultures are still circling?

“I still think there is mileage in the club. We are growing and I think we can continue to grow and it will continue after I'm gone,” says Rodgers.

“Just over eight years ago Swansea nearly went out of business to the point where they couldn't pay an electricity bill of £2,000 to a club which is very stable. Its main function is common sense.

“You can never say what your timeline at a club may be.

“My vision in relation to Swansea is not complete yet but when that time comes to move on I will always have a great deal of respect and great love for the football club.”