Scott loves it at The Bridge Meadow Stadium

Scott Tancock - Haverfordwest CountyThis week we were delighted to chat to Scott Tancock, who has settled in really well with Haverfordwest County, over the last season and this one, about his ups and downs in a career which has seen him play professionally with Swansea City and for other top Welsh clubs before deciding to join The Bluebirds, a move which he describes as one of his better ones . . .
Scott Tancock is in his second season with Haverfordwest County at The Bridge Meadow Stadium and although he is still just 26 years of age he brought with him not only his outstanding defensive skills but lots of experience gained in other clubs like Swansea City, Newport and Merthyr, and pride in the fact that he is the proud owner of a Welsh international cap and jersey after playing for Wales Under 21s against England at Pride Park, the home of Derby County.
“I was thrilled to learn that I had been picked for Wales and it was a very memorable time as we trained together beforehand and pulling on the Welsh jersey and singing the national anthem was brilliant.
“We lost 1-0 in a game played at a furious pace but in a way we did well against opposition which included future stars like Nathan Redman, who scored their goal, Danny Ings, Ravel Morrison and Tom Ince so we had our work cut out at the back!
”I also played against Paul Pogba in a Swansea City friendly with Manchester United and even then you could see he was going to be a class act!”

Scott Tancock - Wales Under 21Other sports

Outside of his football, Scott was an outside half in rugby at Pentre Hafod School in Swansea and he also played cricket for Landore as a lad.

“I was a medium pace bowler and I enjoyed it but by then I was so committed as a footballer that I couldn’t fit enough time to it because I enjoyed my rest from football.
“I used to play a lot of golf too, and enjoyed it but I never seem to have enough time to really focus on it and the last time I played it was off a handicap of 20.
“Perhaps when I’m too old for football I might have another bash at golf and cricket,” Scott told us with a typical chuckle.

Early start with Landore Colts

Scott set out in football as a junior player with Landore Colts, playing as a central midfielder and soon was catching the eye of Cardiff City.

“Tony Lloyd and Dai Roberts were fantastic with us at Landore and I signed for Cardiff City but at nine years of age I hated the fact that I wasn’t allowed to play games with my mates back at home and the travel was too much for me so I decided to go back to Landore, where I was welcomed with open arms.
“I was told that The Swans were also watching me but I was put off enough to say that I didn’t want to move again – and I stayed with Landore through to under 12 level, when I decided to give it a try and this time coped with travelling to matches.

Lots of travel with Swansea City Juniors – and the joy of signing pro forms!

Scott Tancock -Swansea City skipper“We went  as far afield as Chelsea, Bournemouth and Exeter and it meant a massive amount of travel for my father Paul, who never refused to take me anywhere – and my mum Debbie also gave me total support, although neither was a great follower of the game. Dad is still just as helpful now, as he tries to watch all our games at the Bridge Meadow Stadium and last season also came to most of the away games.
“Another great supporter of mine was my grandfather Hywel, who used to travel a lot to watch me and even now follows everything on teletext!”
“I played for The Swans through the age groups and was thrilled to be given an Apprentice Scholarship from 16-18 – and there was even more delight after that when I had a one year professional contract with Brendan Rogers and this was followed by a two-year pro contract where I was also managed by Michael Laudrup and Gary Monk.

Disappointment of leaving – but bouncing back

“All of them taught me things but in my final season I was sent on loan to Newport, where they were brilliant, and Wrexham, where I didn’t enjoy myself so much – and left Swansea City at 21 to sign for Merthyr Town.
“It was disappointing but I could look back on the fact that I played for the Welsh Under 21s and during my time at The Liberty Stadium I was part of a team which won the Welsh under 19s cup for four years on the trot – I think the first time any side had done that!"
Scott had two and a half seasons at Penydarren Park, Merthyr, playing for The Martyrs under the management of Steve Jenkins and Gavin Williamson.

“From there I moved to Stebonheath Park with Llanelli but to be honest it wasn’t a good season at all, my toughest season in football as the club was in trouble and we got relegated.

Deciding to give it a try at Haverfordwest County

Scott Tancock - with manager Wayne Jones and teammates“I knew I could have the chance to sign for Aberystwyth but I knew it meant a lot of extra travel and so decided against it – and then my old Swansea City youth coach Tony Pennock suggested I think about Haverfordwest County.
“I work with Nicky Palmer in The Royal Mail and he had been at The Bridge Meadow Stadium for some time (and is still there!) and he told me it was a smashing club – so when Wayne Jones phoned me up I was ready to listen.
“I told him that I was interested and he coaxed me to go after I told him that I didn’t want any more chopping and changing; and just wanted to settle somewhere to play for a long time.

Setting out last season . . .

“So last season I set out with The Bluebirds and I have st say I have no regrets at all because ‘Wolvesy’ and I have a very good rapport and the team spirit has been great from the start, especially since the youngsters like Jack Wilson and Ben Fawcett have bought into the way things have to be and the newcomers this season have done so too.
“The management is great and there are no big egos in the changing room, ably led by Sean Pemberton as a terrific captain.
“I played every game in the last campaign and the highlight was the 3-0 win against STM Sports, a team originally based in St Mellons and which played in Llanrumney, Cardiff, because they were a tough bunch and we stuck it out well.
“And we still had time for a laugh after matches like the one where we beat Pontypridd in awful weather thanks to a last-minute ‘special’ from Jack Wilson and ‘Wolvesy’ was so excited that he slipped and fell full length in the mud. We really enjoyed that!

. . . And the anticipation of this campaign

“We were delighted to gain promotion because we really believed we deserved it and there was a huge air of anticipation under new chairman Rob Edwards and the management team, bringing in new players to boost the squad strength
“We even had the excitement of our first match being televised against Newtown and every game is like a cup final so we have had to train extra hard, but it has all been worth it.
“At the quarter mark to the season we are certainly holding our own and we aim to keep it that way.”

And finally . . .

When we asked his manager for a comment Wayne Jones told us:

“I like Scott’s professional attitude on the pitch and alongside Sean Pemberton there is no doubt that the younger players look up to them.
“His footballing experience at a higher level holds him in good stead and off the field he is a good guy who still shows his never say die spirit – and I know that I can also depend on him to give me total support at Haverfordwest County!”
High praise indeed from someone who really knows his footballing onions and we could pay Scott Tancock no higher compliment!

Scott Tancock - a tower of strength in defence