Swansea goalkeeper Ben Hamer is looking forward to the highly anticipated clash against Cardiff on Sunday.
It will be his first experience witnessing a packed-out Liberty Stadium for the encounter. Last season, the shot-stopper was named as a substitute, with the match being played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was the Bluebirds who came out victorious in this fixture last season, winning 1-0.
Despite never playing in a south Wales derby, Hamer knows the importance of it.
“I’ve heard big things about it, we all know how much it means,” he said to the club’s official website.
“The chef has had a countdown to the match in the training ground and we know how much it means for everyone in the club and the city.”
Known for its electric atmosphere, Hamer believes his side needs to keep calm and remain focused throughout the game.
“We just need to concentrate on doing our bit on the pitch and staying calm on that side of things,” he added.
“We’ll be looking to go out there and implementing the same style that we’ve implemented all season.”
Swansea sit just two points clear of the relegation places and have only won one league game from their last seven. Their opponents are also struggling – losing their last five league games.
“We know Cardiff are a very physical side but we’ll be just be looking to do what we normally do,” said the goalkeeper.
The former Charlton and Derby man is no stranger to a local derby but this will be a completely different experience for the 33-year-old.
He said: “I played in a couple of Yorkshire derbies at Huddersfield and against Nottingham Forest when I was at Derby but that was behind closed doors so I didn’t really get to experience it properly.
“From watching Swansea and Cardiff on TV over the years, the rivalry is very intense from what I could see looking in and the atmosphere always looked brilliant.”
Russell Martin in ‘rare’ position
Swansea boss Russell Martin finds himself in a strange position as his side prepares for Sunday’s south Wales derby.
Ahead of the clash, the Swans boss confirmed his side has no injury concerns.
Speaking to Wales Online, Martin said: “I’m in a rare position for a manager in that everyone’s fit.”
“Everyone’s trained. All three are available (Olivier Ntcham, Michael Obafemi and Ryan Bennett),” said Martin.
“It’s down to a lot of hard work from the sports science and medical team.
“We picked up a couple of little things which you can do when you’re trying to work, but it’s a lovely position to be in. Any manager will tell you it’s a brilliant problem to have.”