Swansea City have been dealt two huge blows within a week, with both Cameron Toshack and Gary Richards leaving their roles with the U23 side – so what’s next for the club’s academy?
Last week, Toshack left his role as joint-manager of the Swansea City U23 side which had been hugely successful under the Welshman, and is now on his way to Cyprus to take the job at Cypriot First Division side Pafos.
A strange move from the son of former Wales and Real Madrid manager John, and he was soon followed by Richards who become the lead coach of the U23 side upon Toshack’s departure.
It’s now expected that Richards will once again link up with Toshack at Pafos and as the pair prepare for a Christmas on the Cypriot beaches, a thought needs sparing for the now-uncertain future of the youth academy at Swansea.
Swansea are a club who’ve experienced some worsening financial times of late. They’d established themselves as a competent Premier League outfit under the likes of Brendan Rodgers, Michael Laudrup and Garry Monk but succumbed to relegation back in 2018.
They had a decent enough season under Graham Potter last term and it seemed like he would be the man who could take the club back into the promised land, and build a whole new era of football in South Wales.
But the seagulls swooped for Potter and Swans’ fans dreams were crushed. That was until Steve Cooper came in over the summer, and gave the club hope with their unprecedented start to the season – fast-forward to now though and Swansea are back at square one and looking like they don’t know what the next step is.
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As one South Welsh club looks down the barrel the other is looking upwards and outwards – Cardiff City under Neil Harris look to have a really good partnership going and a distinct plan in place for the future, with more of an emphasis on youth production.
Swansea have been the club in Wales who’ve been producing the talents of recent years and they have some bright ones in their ranks right now, but none of that matters if the academy is forced to cease trade.
It looks like that’s going to be the case and a sad one it’ll be if true. Only a few years ago Swansea were playing in the Europa League but now as their league form continues to disappoint, and as their once infamous youth academy looks to be coming to a halt, the future at the Liberty Stadium is looking as bleak as the wintry south Wales skies.