. . . temporary Palace switch paying off already for Richards
Jazz Richards returns to the Liberty Stadium tonight already feeling the benefits from regular first-team football.
The right-back is among Chris Coleman’s Wales squad for tonight’s (Wednesday) Friendly match with Austria at the Liberty (7.45pm).
Now on loan at Crystal Palace, Richards is back on familiar soil as he looks to win his second cap following his senior bow against Mexico last May.
After making four appearance for the Swans this season under Michael Laudrup, the Brynmelyn-product was loaned out to Ian Holloway’s promotion-chasing Eagles last month to get further game-time under his belt.
The 21-year-old has already featured twice for Palace, including providing an assist for their winning goal against Charlton last weekend.
And Richards admits he expects to gain a lot more from his loan at Selhurst Park, which runs until the end of the season.
“I’ve only played two games at Palace but I’ve taken a lot from them already,” said Richards, who has been joined by former Swan Stephen Dobbie at Palace following his loan switch from Brighton.
“The first game was at Huddersfield and was a very tough place to go to, and then we had the derby against Charlton on my home debut.
“But I’ve been happy with the way it’s gone so far. Obviously, I wasn’t getting much game-time at Swansea, so I needed to go out and play some games.
“I know I’ve chosen the right club to come to. Palace play good football, and the manager Ian Holloway is very encouraging. He wants us, as a team, to play as much football as we can.
“The club are having a very good season – we’re just two points off the automatic spots – and when I look at the quality of players like Wilfried Zaha, Glenn Murray and Yannick Bolasie for example, then I feel there’s a very realistic chance of promotion this season.
“And, having been part of a successful promotion campaign with Swansea, I hope I can play a big part in the promotion push at Palace.”
And with a trip back to the Liberty awaiting Richards tonight, he is relishing the prospect of winning his second cap on home soil.
“That would be something really special for me,” added Richards. “I know, as a local lad, how special it is to play at the Liberty, so to do that for Wales would be incredible.
“My cousin, Eli Walker, plays for the Ospreys and we’ve often talked about how great it is to play at the Liberty in front of a crowd that’s always so passionate.
“So to be a part of the action tonight would be a moment I’d savour forever.”
Tickets for tonight's Wales v Austria International Friendly are available at the Liberty Ticket Office, via 0844 815 6665 or at the stadium's Ticket Pod. The ticket pod can only accept cash payments.
Tickets are priced: Adult £10; Senior Citizen £5; Junior (age 16 and under) £5.