Bound­ing along

MATT LEE meets up with for­mer Swansea City, Ox­ford United and Wey­mouth de­fender Matthew Bound to have a chat about his ca­reer

Late Tackle Football Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Matthew Bound’s up and downs

SWANSEA City have es­tab­lished them­selves in the Premier League in re­cent sea­sons, but Matthew Bound re­mem­bers when they were a mil­lion miles away from the big time.

The pow­er­ful cen­tre-back had come through the ranks at Southamp­ton, the club he sup­ported as a boy, in the early 90s be­fore mov­ing on to Stock­port County and then Swansea in the search for reg­u­lar first-team football.

The Swans was where Bound re­ally es­tab­lished him­self, go­ing on to play a to­tal of 176 times, scor­ing ten times. Dur­ing his time with the Swans they were play­ing at the Vetch Field in the lower di­vi­sions – a far cry from stag­ing Premier League games at the Lib­erty Sta­dium nowa­days.Yet Bound ad­mit­ted he loved run­ning out at the Vetch to take on all-com­ers.

“The Vetch was amaz­ing de­spite the shock­ing fa­cil­i­ties/pitch/chang­ing rooms etc,” he said. “The at­mos­phere was bril­liant, par­tic­u­larly for the cup games at night. The nar­row tun­nel gen­er­ally led to some push­ing and shov­ing at the end of most games which was good fun!

“We had lots of ups and downs but the fans were gen­er­ally great. Play­ing at the Vetch was al­ways much more per­sonal as you would have more con­tact with the fans both at the game and af­ter the game in the bar.

“It was quite funny dur­ing that pe­riod as the gaffer would name the team, we would then put our kit on and creep out to the lo­cal pubs around Sand­fields to give out our com­pli­men­tary tick­ets (I don’t think that would hap­pen now).

“It has to be said that the Lib­erty is a much bet­ter sta­dium and cer­tainly fu­ture-proof but the Vetch was very, very spe­cial.”

Although Swansea were strug­gling at the time, Bound ex­plained how team spirit re­mained high dur­ing his time with the Swans.

“Apart from Ox­ford, ev­ery club I played for al­ways had a re­ally strong team spirit,” he said. “Swansea was great as many of us moved to the area at the same time, spend­ing our first few months in the Glev­don B&B on Oys­ter­mouth Road. I think the team spirit was helped be­cause we all lived lo­cally and there­fore so­cialised to­gether (a lot!).”

Although his 16-year long ca­reer may not have reached the heights he once hoped, he did mix with a lot of qual­ity play­ers.

“I was lucky to come through the ranks at Southamp­ton so I was for­tu­nate to train and play with the likes of Alan Shearer, Matt Le Tissier, Jimmy Case, Tim Flow­ers and Kevin Phillips, who was an ap­pren­tice with me.

“The best play­ers that I played against were prob­a­bly Dennis Bergkamp, who was out­stand- ing, and Fabrizio Ra­vanelli, who was up for a bat­tle. Dun­can Fer­gu­son was a hand­ful to say the least and had quite sharp el­bows! The lower leagues al­ways threw up some good bat­tles – Rother­ham be­came one of the games that we al­ways looked for­ward to when I was at the Swans.” Af­ter Swansea, the Melk­sham-born de­fender moved on to Ox­ford United, but the en­joy­ment started to go.

“It was time to start think­ing about life af­ter football, so I de­cided to go part-time with Wey­mouth, which en­abled me to go back to col­lege,” said the 42-year-old.

”Steve Clar­idge signed me although he didn’t last long. I was in­jured for the first four months which was re­ally frus­trat­ing but af­ter that I re­ally en­joyed my time there – it’s a great club with lots of good peo­ple in­volved. I hope they get back to where they should be very soon.”

Since hang­ing up his boots, Bound has been in­volved in TeamTours (www.teamtours.co.uk), a sports tour com­pany based in Chel­tenham.

“We take teams of all abil­i­ties and ages on sports tours, or­gan­is­ing the travel, ac­com­mo­da­tion, games and any­thing else they might re­quire. Football and rugby tend to be the most com­mon re­quests but we have run tours for net­ball, hockey, vol­ley­ball and even pe­tanque.We spe­cialise in tak­ing teams from the UK to Hol­land, Bel­gium and France.”

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