Former Norwich City and Wales star Chris Llewellyn has finally joined Swansea City
CHRIS Llewellyn, once of Norwich City and Wales, has finally arrived at Swansea City some nine years late.
Llewellyn, who grew up in Townhill, came close to signing for Brian Flynn's Swansea back in 2003, but ended up joining Wrexham.
"They had just been promoted to what is now League One and Swansea were in League Two," remembers Llewellyn, who held talks with Flynn about coming to the Vetch.
"I also had a few issues off the pitch at the time that I had to deal with, and that meant I ended up signing for Wrexham when in my heart I wanted to join Swansea.
"But that might have been a good thing for the club, because if I'd signed, they might not have signed Lee Trundle (later that summer) and they might still be in League Two!"
Now 33, Llewellyn belatedly joined Swansea over the summer as part of the ever-expanding coaching staff in the club's youth academy.
The six-cap Wales international had been playing until last season in the Welsh Premier League, but his happiest days as a player came during his time with Norwich.
Llewellyn joined the Canaries as a 15-year-old and, after making his first-team debut at just 18, went on to play more than 150 times for the club.
Released in 2003, he had two good years at Wrexham before joining Hartlepool for a season, then he returned to The Racecourse for another couple of campaigns prior to a stint at Grimsby Town.
Llewellyn then had spells at Neath, Llanelli and Aberystwyth Town, but is now focusing on his coaching career.
"Norwich was where I was happiest as a player," he adds.
"I broke into the first team when I was pretty young and had some great times there playing in the Championship.
"Mike Walker gave me my debut, then I played for others like Bruce Rioch, Bryan Hamilton and Nigel Worthington.
"I have got great memories of Norwich. I have still got a lot of friends there and I still look out for their results.
"But of course, I want to see a Swansea win tomorrow."
Llewellyn is a full-time coach at the Liberty, working primarily with the under-18s, but also with a number of other academy age groups.
"I had five months as a postman in Ammanford, but it's nice to be back working in football every day," says Llewellyn, who is now based in Pontardawe.
"I spoke to (academy manager) Tony Pennock in the summer about working for the club and I started off part-time with the under-14s.
"Then the opportunity came to go full-time and I was delighted.
"The club have big plans for the youth set-up and it's a great time to be part of it. I am working on my coaching badges at the moment and I'm really enjoying the job."
There will be youth games to think about this weekend, but Llewellyn will also have Swansea's senior side on his mind as the club he wishes he'd played for face the one where he made his name.
"Norwich have picked up a lot lately, even if they were a little bit fortunate to beat Sunderland last weekend from what I saw," he adds.
"But our first team are doing fantastically — to be three points off the Champions League places is amazing when you think where the club was a few a years ago.
"I am going to stick my neck on the line and say there will be a home win this weekend."