17:37 30th October 2013
. . . former centre-back on why the derby is so special
Each day this week, as part of our big Welsh derby build-up, we put a former Swan under the spotlight as they recall their memories from past meetings with Cardiff.
Today, former Swans and Wales centre-back Christian Edwards gives his account of the rivalry and explains why he won’t be watching this Sunday."The derby matches were always terrific occasions to play in. They were totally different to any other game.
"You are either the hero or villain – it’s as simple as that.
"I suppose I’m a different case to many as I was born in Caerphilly, which is Cardiff territory in terms of football, but I’ve had a strong affinity with Swansea ever since I was with the Cygnets section of the club.
"That wasn’t lost on the people in my area and Cardiff fans – I got my fair share of stick, and then some.
"But I knew what it meant to both sets of supporters to win this game – something I had experience a few times in my time with the Swans.
"We also went there and won 1-0 thanks to Keith Walker, so I have some great memories of the derby.
"Winning at the Vetch was always special, but doing it in your rivals' backyard was even better.
"You felt ten foot tall when you won. Knowing what we had done for the supporters filled us with pride.
"But, of course, when you lose it is unbearable.
"I remember we lost at the Vetch once and I was substituted. I was completely devastated. I just didn’t want to leave the pitch knowing my team was behind and I couldn’t do anything about it.
"But experiencing the losses makes winning feel that bit better.
"I went on to play in the Millwall v Crystal Palace derby, along with Nottingham Forest v Derby – but nothing compares to Swansea v Cardiff.
"I don’t think English viewers will understand what this game is about – the passion and intensity – until they see the derby on Sunday.
"One thing is for sure, I won’t be watching it.
"I’ve been to the Play-Off final and Capital One Cup final at Wembley, but I can’t watch the Swans against Cardiff – I get too nervous.
"Even though I’ve played in these games, when one little mistake could really cost you, your team and your supporters, I just can’t watch it as a spectator.
"I’ll be taking my dogs out for a walk, with my Swansea shirt on under my coat, hoping for a good result when I get home.
"My children’s reaction will give it away. I’ve nicknamed my little boy Michu because his hairstyle is the same, and my daughters support the Swans too. So it’s in the family now.
"It’s quite funny actually, because I manage the Cardiff Met football side. We actually played Swansea University this week and we won 1-0.
"But I told everyone that will be the only Cardiff victory over a Swansea side this week!
Central defender Christian Edwards gained Welsh international recognition while at Swansea City. He turned professional at the Vetch Field in July 1994 and played for Wales against Switzerland in March 1996, netting four goals in 115 League games for Swansea before being sold to Nottingham Forest for £175,000 in March 1998. He gained Premiership experience and was loaned to Bristol City, Oxford United, Crystal Palace and Tranmere Rovers prior to joining Bristol Rovers in July 2003. Returning to Swansea on loan in August 2005, he made two League appearances and joined Forest Green Rovers in August 2006.