Alfie Mawson Reveals How His Relationship With Swansea Boss Paul Clement Has Made Him A Better Player

Alfie Mawson Reveals How His Relationship With Swansea Boss Paul Clement Has Made Him A Better Player
Jun 12, 2017

Swansea

Alfie Mawson has revealed how former teammates and managers have helped him develop as a footballer in his meteoric rise from non-league to Premier League in an interview with the Guardian. The Swansea defender has been one of the Premier League’s success stories in the second half of the 16/17 campaign after his move from Barnsley last August. The 23-year-old has started every game for the Swans under Paul Clement and has been integral to their survival, scoring 4 goals and earning 2 man of the match awards as they climbed out of the relegation zone at the expense of Hull City.

Speaking on Paul Clement, who was appointed to maintain Swansea’s Premier League status, he said “There are a lot of one-on-ones with him. Sometimes I ask for them. Sometimes he calls you in. We’ll watch games back, he’ll say: ‘This is good but I need you to do this better.’ So it’s in your head and you go away and work on it. I had a meeting with him the other day and he said he’d looked at the way I’ve come into the game and recognised that my path was different.”  He went on to say

He went on to say “If I went and asked, let’s say, a 17-year-old scholar at Manchester City what he is, he’d probably say: ‘I play for Man City.’ But you don’t play for Man City; you play for Man City’s youth set-up. With me, I think I’ve shown what I’m about a bit, but until I’ve played 100 Premier League games, I don’t think I can say I’m established at that level.”

The former Barnsley man started his career at local side Brentford but didn’t make a league appearance for the Bees. He played on loan at Maidenhead United, Luton Town, Welling United and Wycombe before he signed for the Tykes. After helping them to the championship, he joined Swansea for £5m.

He came in under difficult circumstances as a replacement for captain Ashley Williams. The Swansea fans would have expected a more experienced player to replace the man who was a titan at the back over 8 years for the Welsh side. He wasn’t immediately brought into the side but after a string of awful defensive performances by the Swansea backline, he was given his chance against Watford in Bob Bradley’s home debut as manager. He was named man of the match.

It wasn’t until Paul Clement came in that he became a first team player. Paul Clement watched as Alan Curtis’ most recent interim period ended with a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace. Mawson scored the opener. It meant that he had scored in each of England’s top 5 leagues, the achievement was made to look more impressive given that he had done so in only 4 years and the fact that he was a defender. When asked about the manager, Mawson quoted Clement’s words to him; “You want to do well, you want to learn, and what’s to stop you from doing certain things in your career? What’s to stop you from becoming the captain of this club? What’s to stop you from pushing on to a bigger club? What’s to stop you from being a full England international? The only thing that will stop you is yourself.”

Being seen as a leader is clearly important to the Londoner, telling the Guardian, “I want to be seen as a young leader. I want to be that player that in five or six years’ time young players come to me and ask for advice.” He apparently sought the advice of his more experienced players, namely Paul Hayes and Matt Bloomfield at Wycombe as well as Gylfi Sigurðsson and Fernando Llorente at Swansea to pick their brains and aid his development.

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