Swansea City: Skipper Matt Grimes aims to follow club legends

Matt Grimes
Matt Grimes was one of a number of players who captained Swansea in pre-season

Roberto Martinez was followed by Garry Monk, then came Ashley Williams, Leon Britton and Angel Rangel.

Matt Grimes assesses the list of recent Swansea City club captains and is aware that he is in esteemed company.

"All those players have legend status at the club," the newly appointed Swansea skipper tells BBC Sport Wales.

"I have been given this opportunity at a fairly young age to be a captain and I hope I can follow in their footsteps - but I have a long way to go."

Grimes, 24, has been given the armband by Steve Cooper following the summer exit of Swansea's most recent captain, Leroy Fer.

Mike van der Hoorn began pre-season as favourite to get the job having led Swansea in Fer's absence for much of last term, while the likes of Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer were also contenders.

Yet Cooper chose Grimes, an impressive character who was Swansea's player of the year in 2018-19.

"The gaffer has put his faith in me to lead the team and I couldn't be more thankful. I hope I can do a good job," Grimes adds.

"We have a very good relationship between the players and the staff here. I think being captain is about keeping that sweet and making sure all the players are on side.

"If anyone looks a bit down in the dumps, I will take it upon myself now to make sure they are okay.

"Also I want to make sure the relationship between the players and the fans is moving in the right direction, which I think it is."

Grimes' elevation is quite something given that this time last year, his future as a Swansea player was in doubt.

He spent the 2017-18 on loan at Northampton, where he was a regular in the side which dropped into League Two.

When he returned to Wales, there were doubts about how long he might be around - but he soon established himself as a mainstay of Graham Potter's Swans team.

Matt Grimes and Graham Potter
Matt Grimes established himself at Swansea under Graham Potter in 2018-19

"If you had told me two years ago when I was getting relegated from League One that I would be captain of Swansea now, I would probably have told you to go away," Grimes says.

"But football's crazy like that. From one season to the next you can never rest on your laurels and you can never give up either."

Grimes will lead Swansea out for the first time in a competitive game as the Cooper era begins with a Championship game against Hull City on 3 August.

The club's hopes of building on last season's encouraging displays have not been helped by the exits of Dan James and Oli McBurnie, but Grimes remains upbeat.

"We have lost one or two players which was not the news we wanted, but if you perform well as a team that's inevitable in football," he says.

"We had some very strong performances at the back-end of last year and we need to take that into this season.

"It may take one or two games to really hit 100 per cent, but we are more than ready to go."

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