A Swansea City fan’s view of Jay Fulton

 

Wigan Athletic have signed 23-year-old Jay Fulton on loan from Swansea City for the remainder of the season. The 5 ft 10 in Fulton’s contract with the Swans expires in June.

Following the announcement of his latest recruit Paul Cook said that: “Jay will fit right in here. It is a good move for him and we are really looking forward to working with Jay and integrating him into our squad.”.

Following his signing, Fulton identified his style of play: “I am a central midfielder, I like to break up the opponents play and start up our play. I spoke to the manager about how he wants me to play and hopefully I can fit into that.”

Jay Fulton was born in Bolton, his father Steve having signed for the Wanderers after playing for Celtic. Steve’s stay at Bolton only lasted a year and he left to play for Falkirk. Jay was only a few months old when he moved to Scotland.

Curiously Jay joined Falkirk as a youth and made his first team debut as a 17-year-old in April 2011. He went on to make 83 appearances, scoring 5 goals, for the Bairns, before signing for Swansea in January 2014.

In December 2013 Fulton had been highlighted by the Tell Him He’s Pele website as one of the top 25 superstars in the lower leagues of Scotland. The writer commented:

Jay Fulton is the best footballer at the club. With the vision and ability to execute through-balls like no other in the lower leagues, Fulton marries these with expert balance and an uncanny ability to slalom past players in tight spaces, making him a player who could seamlessly fit into any role in midfield.

Where exactly his best position is can sometimes be difficult to judge: should his ability to see the game unfold in front of him (and play audacious through balls like this) mean that he operates as a deep playmaker as part of a double-pivot? Or ought his willingness to take the ball in compressed space and play wall-passes dictate that he should be used behind a forward? It could be that he would be most effective further forward at this stage in his career and then eventually fall back, but he is equally capable of playing on the flanks.

Fulton made his Swansea debut in April 2014, coming on as a substitute in a Premier League game against Aston Villa. In June 2014 he signed a new four-year contract with the Swans. However, Fulton’s first team appearances at Swansea were to be limited and he went on loan to Oldham Athletic in the first half of the 2015-16 season. He made 11 appearances for the Oldham Latics, including one against Gary Caldwell’s Wigan side at Boundary Park in September 2015.

He has represented Scotland at U18, U19 and U21 levels.

In order to learn more about Fulton’s time at Swansea we contacted Phil Sumbler of the Planet Swans fan site https://www.fansnetwork.co.uk/football/swanseacity).

Here’s over to Phil:

Jay Fulton has barely had a look in at Swansea but from when I have seen him play he is a composed midfielder who certainly knows what the game is about.

 His lack of first team opportunities at Swansea should be put down more to maybe not being ready for the Premier League rather than a reflection of general ability.

 For me this loan move will be exactly what he needs and we will be watching his progress at Wigan keenly and willing him to succeed.

I’m not sure the fans have much of a view to be honest – his chances were limited although there were often calls for him to be given a chance (given how bad we have been for a few years)

He’s always looks strong in the challenge and composed on the ball but without the regular flow of competitive football then he has struggled.

For me I don’t think he is a Premier League player (and not sure he would be).

 

We gathered further insight on Swans fans’ views on Fulton through postings on the Planet Swans Forum.

In November Magidaps10 revealed Fulton’s Premier League record:

8 STARTS

5 WINS

1 DRAW

2 DEFEATS

 Not too shabby!

In late December TheKirkyLife  commented that:

Back from loan at Oldham. I must say whenever he played last year he was a really solid and confident addition to the squad. Good to have him back and actually would love to see him in Britton’s role a bit. Almost let Leon take him under his wing. Fantastic prospect from everything I’ve seen.

SwanfortheMoney recently added:

I’ve always liked Fulton when I’ve seen him. Big lad, tackles, gets headers, decent on the ball. A much cheaper version of Clucas.

The Manager sees more of him than we do, so we have to assume he’s surplus to requirements. Good luck to him.

JFSWAN  said:

Never let us down when he’s played. Always snappy into tackles. Southampton away comes to mind with a midfield 3 of Fulton, Carroll and Shelvey where he performed exceptionally.

 

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Swansea City vs. Wigan Athletic Preview: Big day for Roberto

Those who have followed Roberto Martinez’s career know that this fixture was destined to intrigue. After his six seasons in midfield at Springfield Park, he found his way to Swansea via brief stints at Motherwell and Walsall. Hugely popular with the Welsh fans, he was made captain and eventually player-manager, before returning in 2007 to take the managerial job on full-time basis. He achieved promotion to the Championship playing a stylish passing style of football seldom seen in the lower divisions of English football. Though several coaches have been and gone, the club has continued the Martinez philosophy, which was very much evident in their Premier League debut versus Man City on Monday, where they dominated possession for large periods in the first half but were eventually undone by City’s billions in attack.

It would be an understatement to say Roberto upset a few people when he accepted Dave Whelan’s offer to return to Wigan as manager, with some Swansea fans labeling him “El Judas.” But as much as he genuinely loved, and was loved by Swansea, it seems Wigan was his true adopted home. It didn’t help, however, that he brought leading scorer Jason Scotland, and then Championship player of the year Jordi Gomez, along with four members of the backroom staff, with him.

And so Roberto’s two teams meet in the top flight of English football. Destiny couldn’t have planned it better — Roberto returns for Swansea’s first home match. The crowd is going to be hugely influential in this one. It will be interesting to see what sort of reception Martinez receives. He may have left, but they have him to thank for much of their continued success. One suspects that even though Scott Sinclair didn’t quite make it in his year on loan at the then JJB, Roberto saw enough to recommend him to his old club. And what a season he had. I would hope that the more educated fans in the crowd will give him the ovation he deserves.

The Football:  A very tough one to predict. Swansea looked very decent in the first hour against Man City, passing and moving the ball well without really creating any clear cut chances.  The system and style is exactly the same as the Latics, with a lone target man and two fast, skillful wingers in Sinclair and Dyer. Their defensive effort was brave but eventually undone by City’s superior pace, a pretty familiar sounding story.

As for the Wigan line-up, I would expect a stronger side than the one that faced Norwich, based on the additions of Alcaraz and Rodallega.  Al-Habsi in goal; Figueroa, Boyce, Caldwell, Alcaraz; Watson, McCarthy and Diame; Moses, Rodallega and Di Santo. But there were a couple surprises last week and there could be again this week. Jordi Gomez was fantastic during his spell at Swansea and may be given a chance to impress. I read a terrifying rumor somewhere that Alcaraz is actually looking for a move away from the club. To break up his partnership with Gary Caldwell — so instrumental in the second half of the season last year — would be devastating.

My hope is that Wigan’s experience, and the return of Alcaraz and Rodallega to the starting lineup will be enough to counter the newcomers’ energy. But I have to say I’m a bit worried about this one. With a enthusiastic crowd behind then, celebrating the return of top flight football match to Wales, it seems destined to be Swansea’s party. It will be a sign of how far Roberto has come if he can come away with a result.