Saturday 16 December 2017

Family Affair as Swan enters record books

UCD player Ryan Swan
UCD player Ryan Swan
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Ryan Swan may have written his family into the history books on Thursday night but the young striker is determined not to live in the shadow of his father.

Derek Swan scored 119 goals across his 17-year club career and, when his 19-year-old son hit the winner for UCD against F91 Dudelange on Thursday, the pair became only the second Irish father and son to score in Europe.

Jackie and Pat Morley also hold that distinction - Jackie for Waterford and Pat for both Cork City and Shelbourne.

It's 19 years since the elder Swan scored for Bohemians after 30 seconds against Dinamo Minsk in the UEFA Cup and his son followed in his footsteps to put UCD in the driving seat for the second leg of their Europa League tie in Luxembourg next Thursday.

"Dad was delighted to see me score. He told me before to keep the head and when the chance came and to take it," a beaming Swan said in the aftermath of the Students' win.

"I just about remember him playing. I've seen videos as well. He was here (UCD) in 2000 and scored a couple of league goals to keep them up.

"I want to make my own name. Scoring goals on the big occasion that will help that."

Manager Collie O'Neill revealed afterwards that he put a poster on the dressing room wall before the match, containing abusive tweets sent to the club from people who felt that they had no right to be in the competition.

"It's funny, we're the only team that won from Ireland in the Europa League. That's all those tweets answered," Swan smiled.

"It's like judging a book by its cover. It's judging us before they (critics) see us play. We proved them wrong."

Dudelange started the game with three internationals - the same number of UCD players born before the '90s but Swan remains confident that they can repeat the trick in five days' time.

"It was probably the hardest game of my career and the second leg will be just as hard, but we can do it. We'll just have to dig deep."

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