Under 23s in action in Port Talbot

An opportunity for those living locally to cast an eye over the Swans Under 23s...


  • I attended this game at Cwmavon last night. I’d say there were about 200-300 spectators in attendance in a picturesque countryside backdrop and in blistering heat. Trefelin have a well-organised set-up and a strong community ethos – the game was arranged to inaugurate the naming of the main stand.

    Given it was my first game watching any academy side since pre-lockdown, I struggled to identify all of the Swans players. There was no teamsheet and the tannoy announcer was completely incomprehensible from where I was baking along with others sat in the new stand.

    Still, the game was entertaining until mass substitutions diluted play. Trefelin are no mugs; I’d done a trial run to the ground on Saturday to watch them beat Taff Wells 2-0 and they are a neat and tidy passing side at the same Cymru South level as Llanelli, Ammanford and Briton Ferry. Former Swans academy player Sean Hanbury played on Saturday and last night. Nonetheless, the home side struggled to get any possession for much of the first half, Swansea stroking the ball around confidently and looking for openings. The first arrived after 7 minutes when the Trefelin keeper failed to collect a low cross from Tarrelle Whittaker. Rio Campbell snapped up the loose ball to score.

    Swansea often failed with their final pass as they reached the box but otherwise Trefelin were limited to half-decent opportunities on the break. 

    Second half Trefelin had much more of the game and were perhaps unfortunate not to get level. They were punished when the Swans U23 centre forward - described as a trialist in the official site match report - converted a low cross from Adrian Akande after Ben Erickson had set Akande free down the right. This came on 68 minutes immediately before the 2nd half water break.   The game broke up rather with various substitutions for both teams and Whittaker’s 3rd a few minutes from the end – latching onto fired defending - was academic.

    Neither Cooper played, nor did Josh Thomas. Although I couldn’t identify Ben Erickson’s central defensive partner, I feel sure it wasn’t Cameron Evans or Cian Williams. Left back was definitely Lincoln McFayden, who had a lot of first half possession.. Right back for the first half and on the far side to me – blonde haired, decent touch with both feet, I’m reckoning was Harry Jones.  Both full backs got replaced at half-time: Jacob Jones came on at left back, the sub right back I didn’t recognise, but was lean and sporting a hairband (pictured). Ben Erickson had what must have been a very satisfying return – he looked fit and confident on the ball and organised players around him throughout. Abdulai had a lot of possession in midfield but got over-involved in exchanges that got feistier as the game continued.  Whittaker, Campbell and Akande all had their moments. The centre forward got a goal for his efforts, but I’m not sure added much more to the outfit. Still, early days for a number of this team.

    Possible line-up: T Evans; H Jones, B Erickson, ______, McFayden; Leverett, Abdulai, Pinchard (back on trial??); T Whittaker, trialist centre forward, Campbell. Subs included (I believe) Akande, J Jones, a mystery right back, Bassett, Murphy, Hillier, Congreve. I’m happy to be corrected on any of these!

    On a closing note, I telephoned the Swans academy this morning to ask what the spectating arrangements were for the upcoming U18/U23 friendlies at Landore and was told (a) there are no current plans and (b) ‘phone again on Friday. Ho hum.

  • Great report @niallo11 - thank you.

    Could you confirm that KoL was not present ? I thought I saw him on the bench at Plymouth last night.

  • Thanks Fledge.

    Unless he's got a remarkable lookalike, KOL was definitely present last night - he was personally thanked during the opening proceedings and I believe is also actively involved in the Trefelin Veterans team.

  • OK fair enough

    His remarkable lookalike must have been at Plymouth instead ☺️

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