Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers pays tribute to Swansea fans

 

New Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has written an open letter thanking staff and fans at former club Swansea.

The Northern Irishman was officially appointed Reds boss last Friday, admitting the chance at Anfield was too good to pass up after a second approach from the Merseysiders.

In his media interviews, Rodgers said he had previously had three opportunities to leave the Liberty Stadium for other clubs but had not been interested in any of them as he was happy there.

But he accepts Liverpool was a different level entirely.

"The chance to manage one of the world's great footballing institutions doesn't come around very often in a manager's life and, after two approaches, I have decided to take up the professional challenge," he wrote in his letter, published by the South Wales Evening Post.

"Before doing so I wanted to leave you my wholehearted thanks and gratitude for a truly memorable period of my life.

"My story at Swansea City began nearly two years ago and my mission above anything else was very clear: to inspire the city.

"My aim for a legacy was simply to have made Swansea City Football Club an attacking and creative team who were enjoyable to watch, and to make the people of Swansea proud of their great club, city and nation.

"In the years ahead, you, the most important people at the club, will decide if I achieved those dreams, but the journey for me has been one I will never forget.

"We created history together to become the first Welsh club in the Premier League, and defied all the odds at the same time, and there is no doubt the club will continue to flourish in the coming years."

Rodgers praised Swans chairman Huw Jenkins, with whom he had a particularly close relationship, and the club's supporters' trust while also thanking the teachers and pupils at his daughter's primary school.

Having impressed the assembled press at Anfield with the way he handled his first public engagement, Rodgers had a grateful word for the journalists he left behind in Swansea.

"I want to thank the media in Wales for the respectful way they have gone about their job," he added.

"In particular to the South Wales Evening Post, who have been sensitive to the personal issues I have had in my social life.

"The players at Swansea I will thank individually, but to them I hope I have helped you become better players and people because you have certainly done that for me.

"And, finally, to the Jack Army. I'm proud to have been your manager and feel truly blessed for the support you have given me on and off the field.

"I leave knowing I couldn't have given any more to help your great club succeed.

"Swansea will live in my heart for the rest of my life and one day I would love to return to this great club and city.

"Until that day comes, I wish everyone at Swansea lots of success in the next chapter of your amazing story."

Rodgers' arrival at Anfield has been welcomed by Reds goalkeeper Jose Reina.

The Spain international, currently preparing for his country's defence of their European Championship title, told El Pais: "His team has played well this year with an ethos that I share and Liverpool is also known to play the passing game but it is easier said than done.

"Rodgers is welcomed and I am at his disposal. We have won a trophy this year but it is clear that in recent seasons we should have done better."

PA

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