15:50 15th October 2013
. . . as son Cameron keeps it in the family
It was way back in the early 80’s that a certain John Toshack sent the Swans soaring into the top flight of English football.
The legendary former Swansea City boss led the club out of the old Fourth Division to the top of the First in quick-fire time.
Now over 30 years later with the Swans finally back in the top flight, the name Toshack can be heard loud and clear again around the club and training ground.
This time though, with Toshack senior on foreign shores taking charge of Khazar Lankaran in the Azerbaijan Premier League, it’s his son Cameron who is sporting the Swans tracksuit.
Cameron, 43, was officially enrolled onto the club coaching recently to work with Kristian O’Leary’s Under-21 squad and Tony Pennock’s Under-18s.
“To work with the club I have supported as a boy is a dream for me,’’ declared Cameron. “Last season I was a season ticket holder, so to come in every day and work with the club in a coaching capacity is an absolute pleasure.’’
It is the latest step on a long and patient footballing education for Cameron who quit his job in man management and European marketing for a multi-national company to take up the role.
“I started coaching part-time with the Academy last season and stepped up my involvement with the Under-21s and under-18s in August,’’ he added. “All the paperwork was completed recently and I am delighted to be on board on a full-time basis.
“I have been studying football all my life and I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher than my father. He has always set high standards for himself and those around him. It’s just one of the reasons why he has five major trophies to his name and is so well respected throughout the footballing world.
“I would have been a fool not to learn as much as I could off someone like that. In fact, it’s been a constant learning process; it still is. Luckily, wherever he’s been managing in the world, he has always been on the end of the phone for me - and still is.
“He still holds Swansea close to his heart and is delighted the club is doing so well. He is thrilled for me and proud that the Toshack link with the Swans goes on.’’
Cameron was just seven years old when his father took over the Swans as player-manager in 1978.
“We stayed in the Caswell Bay Hotel when my father first took over at the Vetch Field,’’ he added. “Swansea has remained the family base ever since.’’
Having attended school at Ffynone and Bishopston, Cameron became a professional with the Swans before spells at Bristol City, Cardiff City and non-league Weymouth where he combined football with attaining a psychology degree at Swansea University.
Studying his father’s management career closely in the likes of Portugal, Spain, Turkey, France and, of course, Wales, Cameron went on to achieve his A-license coaching badge five years ago. He is currently waiting to start his Pro-licence.
He worked with the Welsh national set-up under his father and Brian Flynn preparing opposition technical reports, a role he still has under current boss Chris Coleman for the World Cup qualifying campaign, while also spending a year from August 2011 as national team coach for the Macedonia football federation, working with players such as Goran Pandev.
“The changes at the club since I was a young pro at the Vetch back in 1988 have been unbelievable,’’ added Cameron. “From having nowhere to train to the new state-of-the-art complex at Landore highlights that progress. It’s a great place for the players and staff to work on a daily basis.
“But I’m glad to see that despite all that comes with the Premier League, the club has retained its core values and affiliation with the community and the fans.’’
No doubt, Toshack Snr would also agree.