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Kristian O'Leary Testimonal - Swansea City v West Brom

Kristian O'Leary Testimonal - Swansea City v West Brom
Friday 04 Jul 2008 [15:40]
 
Tickets for Kristian O'Leary's testimonial match against Premiership new boys West Brom will go on sale from 10am on Monday 7th July.
 
Manager Tony Mowbray will bring his Baggies to the Liberty Stadium on Saturday 2nd August (3pm) in honour of the loyal Swans midfielder.
 
Tickets are priced at £15 for adults; £7.50 for concessions (full time student, senior citizens, disabled and children under 16).  Family bundles are also available at £25 for one adult and two children, and £40 for two adults and two children.  Tickets will be available online as well as in person at the Ticket Office, and on the Ticket Office hotline 08700 400 004.
 
Only the East and West Stands will be open.
 
It will be the first game of the new season at the Liberty Stadium as the Swans prepare for life in the Championship.
 
Both Clubs will be putting out their first team squads in preparation for the new campaign.
 
Kristian is a product of the Swans' youth set-up and has become a Swans stalwart after more than a decade of senior service to the club.
 
Born and bred in nearby Port Talbot, O'Leary made his debut in the 1995-96 season and has gone on to make over 300 appearances for the Club.
 
The midfielder has certainly seen it all at the club since first pulling on the black and white shirt as a tender 18-year-old.
 
It was Jan Molby who gave him his League debut as a defender way back in 1996 in a 5-1 defeat at Bradford.  O'Leary, playing as a right wing back that day, was still registered as a second year apprentice at the time.  But 12 years and over 300 appearances later, he is still plying his trade with the club as their longest serving player having seen a grand total of 14 managers step through the revolving door at the Vetch Field and Liberty Stadium.
 
Starting the long list, there's Frank Burrows, Bobby Smith, Jimmy Rimmer, Kevin Cullis, Jan Molby, Micky Adams, Alan Cork, John Hollins, Colin Addison, Nick Cusack, Brian Flynn, Alan Curtis (twice), Kenny Jacket and caretaker Kevin Nugent.
 
"It only seems like yesterday that I first joined the club as a 14 year old," reflects O'Leary.  "It's hard to imagine that was over 16 years ago.
 
"I've certainly seen my fair share of managers come and go, probably more than most.  At one time at the Vetch we seemed to be changing managers every few weeks.
 
"There have been times over the years when things haven't worked out for me.  But that's when you test yourself," he added.  "Some give up when the going gets tough, while others just get on with it.  That's me - I get on with it.  I train no different whether I'm in the side or not.  I'm a great believer in that because if you work hard enough your time will eventually come."
 
And his character has certainly been tested over the years.
 
The lowest point of his 15 years at the Vetch Field came during the end of the John Hollins reign when a long spell on the sidelines coincided with personal problems away from the game; the arrival of the infamous Tony Petty; and, of course, relegation.
 
"Thinking back to how close the Club came to folding is still scary, especially when you consider where we are today - preparing for life in the Championship."
 
Having enjoyed plenty of highs since then, there will be nobody who deserves his moment more than O'Leary.
 
 

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liberty-stadium.com - Sun 19 Nov 2017 06:43:26