The Irish Are Coming

SWANSEA City are gearing up for record-breaking season ticket sales ahead of their clash with Reading on Monday.

Thousands of new fans have applied for a chance to follow the Swans in what could be their first season in the Premier League.

In the past two months alone the Liberty Stadium ticket office has received 3,200 new season ticket applications.

Longstanding fans have also been snapping up their season tickets, with 6,000 existing season ticket holders already renewing for the next season.

The deadline for existing season ticket holders to renew is Tuesday, and a spokesman for the club said it was expecting a further 2,000 existing fans to sign up over the next three days.

The Swans have also sold all their hospitality executive boxes for next season.

Swansea City vice-chairman Leigh Dineen said: "Swansea City fever is certainly sweeping the city.

"We have been amazed and encouraged by the huge interest in our season tickets.

"It is set to break all records and we would like to thank all the fans for their fantastic support."

Swansea Lord Mayor Ioan Richard recently returned from a five-day visit to Cork in Ireland and said a buzz was developing over Swansea City's chances of entering the Premier League.

Mr Richard met everyone from taxi drivers to government ministers during his visit and said there was widespread interest in becoming a Swans season ticket holder.

The recently-appointed mayor said in terms of driving distance it could be closer for fans living in Cork to get to the Liberty Stadium than supporters driving to home games from Ystradgynlais thanks to the ferry service re-introduced last year to connect Swansea to Cork.

Mr Richard said: "There is a lot of enthusiasm in Ireland for the Swansea game on Monday.

"Every taxi driver was saying 'let's hope the Swans win'.

"They reckon a lot of Irish money will come into Swansea.

"For Irish football fans to get to a Premier League game from Ireland they would have to fly from Dublin to Manchester or Liverpool.

"Now it would be easy to come by car and you can drive to the Liberty Stadium.

"A lot of them were saying they would be buying season tickets for the Swans.

"People living in the south west of Ireland are within 10 miles driving distance of the Liberty Stadium thanks to the ferry connection.

"Cork is so well placed now for Premier League football if Swansea win on Monday.

"I was in Africa on holiday and people talk about Manchester United as if it is just down the road.

"The Premier League will be just down the road for people from Cork.

"Cork city centre is probably closer to the Liberty Stadium than Ystradgynlais.

"There was a real buzz about it over there."

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