Jamie Callan picks his best Monkton Swifts' team over the past 20 yaers

2007 Monkton Swifts team who won the double in 2007

Many thanks to former Monkton Swifts’ skipper Jamie Callan who agreed with PembrokeshireSport.co.uk to select what he thinks is his best team over the past 20 years who strutted their stuff at Monkton Lane.

Proud moment - Steve Callan with his son Jamie showing off the silverwareCallan was himself a formidable player in his heyday, started in midfield but moved to the defence, before becoming a superb centre back. He has modestly left himself out of this quality squad - but he really should be in this team because he was an integral part of the Swifts team who impressively claimed four Division One titles on the bounce from 2004 to 2007; now that is no mean feat.

Like his late father Steve ‘Weaver’ Callan, Jamie is a chip off the old block, who was strong in the air, liked putting in a hard tackle, was also comfortable in possession - and when he was skipper he always encouraged his team mates, but when needed could always demand the best from his players when the chips were down. Callan was a strong character on the pitch, both mentally and physically, always knowing how to get the best return from his group of players.

Callan has selected an extremely strong squad who would grace the game in any era with distinction. His Swifts’ squad really would take some beating if they were able turn back the clock and play together today.

So here is his team selection....

Jamie Callan and Ben Nicholas defending stronglyGOALKEEPER – CRAIG REARDEN

A gentle giant of a man, whose stature was enough to intimidate most centre forwards he came up against, and was a great shot stopper. He kept us in so many games over the years that he was at Monkton Lane and his bravery in coming for crosses or through balls was a massive weapon for us.


Often played at centre half or wing back but could play anywhere, with a great engine and football intelligence - and one of the best crossers of the ball that I have seen, who always played with a smile on his face.


A real beast of a player and someone who I looked up to coming through the juniors at the club. Great on the deck and in the air; nasty and  vocal but could land a 50-yard ball wherever you wanted it with his right or left foot. Carpet was a great leader, he always seemed to know what to say or do to get the best out of you whether it be a quiet word or a crunching tackle to get the whole team fired up.


A great footballer who could also play many positions on the pitch but a little unfortunate with injuries - but when he was fit there was nothing that got past him, sometimes leading to him being sent off!  I spent most games trying to keep him from wondering forward or getting sent off. Started out as a right winger but must go down as one of the best centre backs in the county over the last 20 years.

Ben Nicholas is on the ball for The SwiftsLEFT BACK – BEN NICHOLAS

A little out of position for Ben but he was so good he would do a job at LB. Ben was a great technician, brilliant first touch and with fantastic passing ability. He could also beat his opponent in a 1v1 situation which released so much space for his teammates.


There is no way he would do any defending in right midfield, but with the boys I have put in defence we would be fine. Terribly unlucky with injury but the best player I played with, incredible ability to go past a man, he was quick, aggressive, could play with either foot or someone who I would not want to play against. Perhaps the only player in this team who seemed to get more stick at away grounds than me - might have been the mullet and tan?

Dai Patterson kisses the cupCENTRE MIDFIELD – DAI ‘PATTO’ PATTERSON

If I did not pick him, he would moan like hell, so I have made my life easy by putting him in! He was the engine in the great sides that we had at Monkton, and would be busy for 90 minutes in the middle of the park and would often wear referees down into submission. Played with my dad and was someone who I can remember watching as a kid, so meant a lot to get the chance to play with him.


He forced me to become a centre half because there was no way I could budge him out of the team - a great football player and a great bloke. For a big guy he covered every blade of grass, scored goals, made tackles and was one of the old heads that I learned so much from, so when he did not play, we struggled.


A maverick of a player,  who would sometimes do nothing for 85 minutes but then would win us the game, as he went past people like they were not there and scored an enormous amount of goals, most of them important ones.  He had a great engine which he would put to good use on the ‘Top Bank’ at Monkton Lane and was a player who was always looking to go forwards.



Another that played with my father and that I admired growing up. I had some games in midfield and he was a dream to play with, always finding space and perhaps the best first touch of anyone I have played with. Another great bloke and his winner in extra time of the Senior Cup final was thoroughly deserved after breaking his leg on the same stage a few years earlier.



A proven goal scorer - the man had an insatiable appetite for goals and could sniff them out of nowhere. The year we won the double was his best and he got the equaliser in the Senior Cup final in the 89th minute for us. Strong, quick, aggressive, he had the lot and like many of the players I have picked, was a born winner.



Darren Shaw – A great player in defence or midfield and scored some big goals.

Lee Jones –He was underrated for what he did for us, had a great engine and kept us ticking over.

Shaun Jones – Still playing and in my opinion the best defender in the county right now.


Jamie Callan keeps his eye on Nicky Woodrow in the 2007 Senior Cup Final


Benno Jones was a top managerMANAGER – BENNO JONES

An old school rant and rave character who did not suffer fools: he would give it to you at half time or full time if you did not do your job. Always ensured we were fired up and did well to keep control of some of the characters we had in the dressing room at that time. Benno guided us to four titles on the bounce, breaking the Hakin dominance of Pembrokeshire football.

Steve Maytum

ASSISTANT- Steve Maytum

Perhaps the nicest bloke in local football?  He had great football knowledge and complimented Benno with their ‘Good Cop/ Bad Cop’ act. Helped me enormously when I first started playing senior football, he had lots of experience from Football League clubs that we were fortunate enough to have passed on to us.