Swansea advertise for Academy Manager to replace departing Rees

Nigel Rees with Academy graduate Oli McBurnie

Nigel Rees with Academy graduate Oli McBurnie

SWANSEA CITY are advertising for a new Academy Manager after announcing that Nigel Rees is stepping down after six-and-a-half years in the role.

The 56-year-old said: “It’s a good time for the club to seek fresh ideas, and for me too. It is my decision, and I am happy because I am leaving the club with good feelings and amazing memories.

“I will always follow the Swans - they are my club - and I can’t wait to see the next generation of players progress as a fan.”

The Welshman joined the club as a part-time coach at their development centres in 2008. He went on to become Academy Operations Manager and then, in January 2014, the overall Academy Manager.

During his time with the Academy a number of players have progressed to the Swans first team, including Joe Rodon and Ben Davies, both now at Tottenham, Oli McBurnie, who moved to Sheffield United in July 2019, and Manchester United’s Daniel James.

In 2016/17 an Under-23 squad featuring Rodon, McBurnie and James won the double of Premier League 2 Division 2 and the Premier League Cup.

There has also been progress off the pitch on Rees's watch, with the club further developing its Landore facility, now exclusive to the Academy, following its opening in September 2013. However, the Academy did move down to Category 2 status at the start of this season after four years in the top tier.

Rees said: “Daniel James was my first signing when I became Academy Manager. He’s now at Manchester United - one of the biggest clubs in the world - and that’s a great compliment to the hard work of everyone here.

“Then there’s Oli McBurnie, who is now playing regular Premier League football with Sheffield United, while Joe Rodon recently joined Tottenham Hotspur after being at our Academy since the age of nine.

“There are so many more players I could talk about, but what I will say is that I get goosebumps every time I see lads who grew in our Academy go on to play for Swansea City.

“We’ve helped produce players for the first team - some for us, some going on to other teams - and we also nurture them from a personal level to be good people. And when I say we, I’m talking about all the coaches that work in the Academy, the player himself and the parents too. It’s a collective effort.

“When I started with the Academy we were training on a local pitch and at the University along with playing games in Llandarcy. Now we can look at how we’ve progressed and feel proud of the way we’ve done it.

“Landore is an amazing facility and environment which has everything needed to help develop Academy players. Of course, there has been a change in category status recently, but this club continues to produce fantastic young footballers who are complementing the first-team squad."

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