Vorm relishing Swansea City's "special" clash with Valencia
MICHEL Vorm admits tomorrow's European clash with Valencia will be a special moment for Swansea City.
The Dutch international is an experienced Europa League campaigner, but still gets a rush of excitement when he thinks about running out at the Mestalla for a game will also be a landmark occasion for his club.
Only once previously have Swansea got through two rounds of Continental competition, and that was more than 30 years ago.
In 1982 Swansea progressed in the Cup Winners' Cup, overcoming Sporting Braga and Sliema Wanderers before losing over two legs to Paris St Germain.
This time, victories against Malmo and Petrolul Ploiesti guarantee at least a six-game group campaign.
"The match against Valencia is going to be something else," Vorm said.
"I don't know them very well, but we know they are a big team in Spain.
"It is our first group game in the tournament and we're looking forward to it.
"When I first signed for the club I never thought we'd play in Europe. It is a dream come true for me.
"From the minute I played my first game for Swansea until now I've had so many beautiful games, and now we have this special occasion to come on Thursday."
Vorm played seven fixtures in the Europa League three years ago while at Utrecht.
Back then his side failed to qualify for the knockout stages, but the 29-year-old reckons Swansea are well prepared for the challenge that awaits.
Michael Laudrup has spent the summer reinforcing his squad and now has genuine competition in just about every position.
Swansea hope that depth will enable them to compete on a number of fronts, with Premier League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup commitments also on the agenda.
"We have a bigger squad now and that is good," said Vorm.
"If you want to grow as a club and as a professional player you have to be prepared to play a lot of games.
"We have Valencia and then a very important Premier League game against Crystal Palace on Sunday."
As Swansea prepare for what promises to be a memorable meeting with Valencia, Jonjo Shelvey is reflecting on an unforgettable match against Liverpool.
The former Reds midfielder took centre stage on Monday, scoring one goal and creating another, but also making two mistakes which led to Liverpool goals.
"It was a special game for Jonjo," Vorm added.
"He feels a bit down and he knows what he did was wrong. He has to learn from it.
"He came up to me and said sorry during the game. He is a good professional and apart from the two mistakes he did pretty well.
"That is something that won't ever happen again in his career. He thought he was alone and he had time for the first goal.
"The second was an even bigger mistake because it was unnecessary."
Though Shelvey may take time to recover, Swansea can approach Valencia with confidence after ending the Premier League leaders' 100 per cent record.
They deserved a draw against Brendan Rodgers's side and could even have claimed victory after pressing in the closing stages.
"For neutrals it must have been a great game to watch," Vorm said.
"The way we started was perfect. We scored the first goal after two minutes.
"Then you think the game starts now — consolidate and build on the first goal.
"But (Daniel) Sturridge was just waiting and Jonjo didn't see him. We gave away two goals and they didn't really create that much.
"Liverpool punish you and we were a bit sloppy with the ball in the first half.
"In the end it was a good point for us."
KENJI Gorre twice hit the woodwork as Swansea City Under-21s were beaten 1-0 at Cardiff City on Monday night. Gorre rattled the crossbar either side of half-time as Kristian O'Leary's side created their share of chances at the Cardiff City Stadium.
But it was the hosts who won it thanks to a 64th-minute goal from Kadeem Harris. Swansea included the likes of Rory Donnelly, Daniel Alfei and Lee Lucas, while the Cardiff side featured experienced pros in Jordon Mutch, Simon Lappin and Craig Noone.