Swansea City confirm major arrival ahead of Championship games with West Brom and Birmingham City

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Swansea City face Birmingham City and West Brom in their opening two Championship games

Swansea City have acted swiftly to appoint Michael Duff as their new manager on a three-year deal ahead of their opening 2023-24 Championship fixtures against Birmingham City and West Brom.

Duff, who led Barnsley to the League One play-off final in his first season at Oakwell, will oversee Swansea’a first day of pre-season on Friday as they host Bimingham in their first league fixture on August 5 before making the trip to the Hawthorns seven days later.

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The former Northern Ireland international replaces Russell Martin in Wales, after he joined Southampton on a three-year contract on Wednesday.

Duff had two years remaining on his deal at Barnsley and was offered improved terms and a contract extension prior to interest from Wales.

“Michael has a proven track record of galvanising a group of players into a collective unit, and he has consistently outperformed expectations at his previous clubs,” said Swansea City chairman Andy Coleman.

“Every conversation I had with him only reinforced the view that he is exactly the type of leader we need here at Swansea City. He is a proven winner, both as a player and as a manager, and I’m confident he will bring that mentality here.

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“I believe in his ability and his belief in the Swansea Way, while he also possesses the capability to adapt within games to drive results. This is a results driven business. Our position in the table matters to all of us and we are focused on supporting Michael with everything he needs to succeed.”

Barnsley chairman, Neerav Parekh, said: “As a board, we’d like to thank Michael for all his efforts over the last year. We’d also like to appreciate the professional way in which he behaved once Swansea triggered the release clause, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

Discussing how he wants his side to be prepared for their opening games in August, Duff said: “I’m excited to get going and meet the players, because that’s when it’ll really kick in when you’re on the grass anddoing your job,” he said.

“There were lots of reasons I wanted to come to Swansea; the step up in level, but also the infrastructure that’s already at the football club, and speaking to the owners and the ambition they’ve got for the club it matches my own ambition.

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“My immediate aims are to get a helicopter view of the landscape and the players, physically and mentally. What do they look like? What is their attitude like? And that’s the same for all the staff too. Ultimately, we want to walk out of pre-season with a fit group of players who are fresh.”

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