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Ashley Darel Jazz Richards (born 12 April 1991) is a Welsh professional footballer who plays as a full-back for Championship club Cardiff City.

Jazz Richards
Jazz Richards 2016.jpg
Richards playing for Cardiff City in 2016
Personal information
Full name Ashley Darel Jazz Richards[1]
Date of birth (1991-04-12) 12 April 1991 (age 28)[2]
Place of birth Swansea, Wales
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)[2]
Playing position Full back / Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Cardiff City
Number 6
Youth career
West End
2005–2007 Cardiff City
2007–2009 Swansea City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2015 Swansea City 39 (0)
2013Crystal Palace (loan) 11 (0)
2013Huddersfield Town (loan) 9 (0)
2015Fulham (loan) 14 (0)
2015–2016 Fulham 22 (0)
2016– Cardiff City 36 (0)
National team
2007–2008 Wales U17 10 (0)
2008–2009 Wales U19 11 (0)
2009–2012 Wales U21 15 (0)
2012– Wales 14 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16:07, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 16:00, 20 October 2018 (UTC)

A versatile player who is also capable of playing at left-back and as a midfielder, Richards began his professional career at his hometown club Swansea City, having previously played youth football for their local rivals Cardiff City. He made only 51 appearances for the club in all competitions during a six-year spell with the first team.

During his time with the Swans, he spent time on loan with Crystal Palace, Huddersfield Town and Fulham, before joining the latter for an undisclosed fee in 2015. He established himself in Fulham's first team for a brief period. In 2016, he returned to Cardiff City, helping the club win promotion to the Premier League in 2018.

Richards made his full international debut for Wales in 2012, and represented the nation at UEFA Euro 2016. To date, he has won 14 caps for his country.

Contents

Club careerEdit

Swansea CityEdit

Youth and first–team breakthroughEdit

 
Richards playing for Swansea City in 2013

Born in Swansea, Richards played local football for his schools and local club West End,[3] before joining the Cardiff City Academy. After two seasons, he was released and joined the academy at their South Wales rivals Swansea City at the age of fifteen.[4] Richards initially started out as a midfielder but switched to playing as a defender under manager Roberto Martínez due to the increased competition between midfielders in the first team at the time.[5] He has since continued to play at that position as well. Richards earned £60 a week while on a scholarship with the Swans.[6]

After spending two seasons with the academy and reserve sides,[4] Richards made his professional debut for Swansea in a Championship match against Middlesbrough during a 3–0 loss on 15 August 2009, replacing Shaun MacDonald as a substitute in the 63rd minute.[7] After Richards made 15 appearances during the 2009–10 season, he signed a new two-year deal with Swansea.[8]

The start of the 2010–11 season saw Richards spend the opening six months as an unused substitute or in the reserve side. He did not make his first appearance of the season until 3 January 2011, during a 2–1 defeat against Leicester City following a defensive injury crisis where several first team players were ruled out.[9][10] Throughout January and February, Richards was given a handful of first team opportunities. However, he lost his first team place for the remainder of the season following the return of Àngel Rangel from injury.[11] He made eight appearances during the 2010–11 season as Swansea went on to become the first Welsh team ever to gain promotion to the Premier League.[12][13]

After appearing on the bench for several matches at the start of the following season, Richards made his Premier League debut when he came on as a substitute for Neil Taylor during a 3–1 loss to Norwich City on 15 October 2011.[14] Twelve days later, he was rewarded with a new 18-month contract.[15] He then made his first start for the club in the Premier League, playing in a 4–2 loss against Blackburn Rovers on 3 December 2011.[16] As the 2011–12 season progressed, Richards was sent to play in the reserves for the rest of the season, in order to regain his fitness.[17] He finished the season with eight appearances.[12]

Loan to Crystal Palace in 2013Edit

At the start of the 2012–13 season, Richards struggled to break into the first team over Rangel in the right-back position.[18] Because of this, he stated his desire to leave the club on loan to gain experience and compete for his spot in the first team.[19] However, he was forced to wait until the winter transfer window to secure a move. In the first half of the season, he made just four appearances for Swansea, all in cup competitions. At the end of January, he joined Crystal Palace on loan until the end of the season.[20] He made his debut for the club five days later, on 30 January 2013 in a 1–0 loss against Huddersfield Town.[21] In his next match, against Charlton Athletic, Richards assisted Glenn Murray's winning goal, as Palace defeated their South London rivals 2–1.[22] During his loan spell, he signed a new contract with Swansea until June 2016.[23] He went on to make 11 appearances and appeared as an unused substitute in the 2013 Championship play-off final, as Palace beat Watford 1–0 to achieve promotion to the Premier League.[12]

Loan to Huddersfield TownEdit

After returning to Swansea, Richards made his first appearance of the 2013–14 season in the second leg of the Europa League qualifiers, a 0–0 draw against Malmö, helping Swansea advance 4–0 on aggregate.[24] On 10 September 2013, Richards joined Championship side Huddersfield Town on a 93-day emergency loan.[25] After not being able to obtain international clearance from FIFA in time to play against Doncaster Rovers on 14 September,[26] he made his Town debut as a substitute in a 2–1 win over Charlton Athletic on 17 September 2013.[27] His loan spell ended on 17 December after just 9 appearances for the Terriers.[28] Following his return from his loan spell, Richards did not appear in another match until 16 February 2014 when he made played in a 3–1 loss against Everton in the last-sixteen of the FA Cup.[29] He made no further appearances during the remainder of the season.[12]

Return to SwanseaEdit

In the 2014–15 season, Richards made his first appearance of the season in the first round of the League Cup, in a 1–0 win over Rotherham United on 26 August 2014.[30] He then made his first Premier League appearance in two years when he came on as a substitute in the 82nd minute of a 0–0 draw against Sunderland on 27 September 2014.[31] Following this, Richards was given a handful of first team appearances throughout 2014 despite struggling to compete with Rangel and suffering his own injury concerns.[32][33] In a 2–1 loss against Tottenham Hotspur on 14 December 2014, Richards made an error that led to Christian Eriksen scoring the winning goal.[34] After the match, he issued an apology to Swansea City supporters for his error.[35] Despite his apology, he became a victim of abuse on social media website Twitter by Swansea City supporters.[35] Manager Garry Monk backed Richards and picked him in the club's following fixture against Hull City.[35]

This turned out to be Richards' last season with Swansea. In six years, he made just 51 appearances for the club and never established himself as a regular. Only 18 of his appearances coming in the Premier League. His lone match in the 2013–14 Europa League qualifiers was his only appearance in a European competition for the club.[36]

FulhamEdit

On 24 January 2015, Richards joined Championship side Fulham on a one-month loan deal.[37] He made his debut for the club on 31 January 2015, starting in a 2–1 loss against Blackburn Rovers.[38] After making five appearances, Richards had his loan spell with Fulham extended until the end of the season.[39] Richards went on to make 14 appearances for the Cottagers, all of which were starts.[12]

On 2 July 2015, Swansea accepted Fulham's bid for Richards to transfer on a permanent deal.[40] He signed a three-year deal with the option of a fourth, for an undisclosed fee.[41] Although his year was marked with injuries,[42][43] Richards' made 22 appearances in his only season as a permanent player at the club. He established himself as a regular when he was fit. However, ahead of the 2016–17 season, Richards was expected to lose his first team place at Fulham, with manager Slaviša Jokanović preferring Ryan Fredericks in the right-back position.[44] As a result, Fulham accepted a bid from Cardiff City for Richards.[45]

Cardiff CityEdit

On 19 July 2016, Richards joined Championship club Cardiff City on a three-year-deal in a swap move which saw Scott Malone join Fulham.[46] He made his debut in a goalless draw at Birmingham City, where he became embroiled in controversy after reportedly refusing to do Cardiff's traditional ayatollah gesture, performed by fans of the club, several times at the match.[47] However, the club later released video footage that showed him performing the gesture.[48]

After starting the season as a regular in the first team, Richards suffered a training injury in September that led to him missing three months of the season. His lengthy rehabilitation prompted manager Neil Warnock to quip "I've had lads with broken legs recover quicker than him." He eventually made his return on 2 January, as unused substitute against Aston Villa.[49][50] He enjoyed an extended run in the first team soon after, playing in ten of the club's following twelve matches, stating that he felt that he had "a lot more to show. I think I'm nowhere near my full potential."[51] In his first season with Cardiff, he appeared in a career high 26 league matches.[36]

At the start of the following season, Richards again suffered an injury blow early in the season, being forced to undergo surgery after hurting his ankle during 2–1 victory over Sunderland on 23 September 2017.[52] He returned from injury in January 2018, playing in five matches before his season was ended by a further injury.[53] He made only eleven appearances in all competitions during the season as Cardiff achieved promotion after finishing as runners-up.[12]

International careerEdit

Richards represented the Wales under-17 and under-19 sides.[2] He was called up to the under-21 squad for the first time in March 2009 to face Luxembourg. He won ten or more caps at all three levels during his youth career.[2]

On 27 May 2012, he gained his first full international cap for Wales in their 2–0 friendly loss to Mexico in New Jersey, replacing Neil Taylor for the last ten minutes of the match.[54] Wales qualified for Euro 2016 and Richards was called up into the final 23-man squad.[55] He played his only game in the tournament as a late substitute in the team's first match, a 2–1 victory over Slovakia.[56] Wales went on to reach the semi-finals before losing to Portugal.[57] As of October 2018, Richards has had 14 international caps with Wales, including seven appearances in the starting lineup. He played in four matches in Euro 2016 qualifying and three in 2018 World Cup qualifying.[58]

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

As of 12 May 2019[36]
Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Club Season League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
Swansea City 2009–10 Championship 15 0 15 0
2010–11 6 0 1 0 1 0 8 0
2011–12 Premier League 8 0 1 0 0 0 9 0
2012–13 0 0 1 0 3 0 4 0
2013–14 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
2014–15 10 0 1 0 2 0 13 0
Total 39 0 5 0 6 0 1 0 51 0
Crystal Palace (loan) 2012–13 Championship 11 0 11 0
Huddersfield Town (loan) 2013–14 9 0 0 0 9 0
Fulham (loan) 2014–15 14 0 14 0
Fulham 2015–16 22 0 1 0 3 0 26 0
Total 36 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 40 0
Cardiff City 2016–17 Championship 26 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 28 0
2017–18 6 0 3 0 2 0 0 0 11 0
2018–19 Premier League 4 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 5 0
Total 36 0 4 0 4 0 0 0 44 0
Career total 131 0 10 0 13 0 1 0 155 0

InternationalEdit

As of match played 11 October 2018[58]
Wales national team
Year Apps Goals
2012 1 0
2013 3 0
2015 4 0
2016 2 0
2017 3 0
2018 1 0
Total 14 0

Personal lifeEdit

Richards' comes from a family with a sporting background as his cousins Eli Walker and Tobias Webb are also professional athletes. Walker is a rugby union player while Webb is a super-middleweight champion boxer.[59]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Premier League clubs submit squad lists". Premier League. 2 September 2011. Archived from the original on 23 September 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d "First Team". Swansea City A.F.C. Archived from the original on 5 May 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2009.
  3. ^ "The Biggest Keeper In The World vs The Angriest Keeper In The World - West End Vs Caldicot Town". YouTube. 2 May 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Ten Years At The Liberty: A comeback to be proud of". Swansea City A.F.C. 28 June 2016. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  5. ^ Paul Warburton (5 January 2016). "Fulham defender insists he is a better midfielder – and so does Everton boss". Get West London. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  6. ^ Paul Warburton (31 March 2016). "Fulham's Jazz Richards: Five things you never knew about the Wales international". Get West London. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Swansea 0–3 Middlesbrough". BBC Sport. 15 August 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2009.
  8. ^ "Ashley Richards signs new Swansea deal". BBC Sport. 25 May 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  9. ^ "Leicester City 2 – 1 Swansea City". BBC Sport. 3 January 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  10. ^ "Eidur Gudjohnsen top of Swansea City wish list". Wales Online. 3 January 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  11. ^ "Rangel warns Swans not to take wounded Rovers lightly". Wales Online. 18 February 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Jazz Richards at Soccerway. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  13. ^ Peter Shuttleworth. "When Swansea City flew in top flight". BBC Sport. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Norwich City 3 – 1 Swansea City". BBC Sport. 15 October 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  15. ^ "Jazz Richards rewarded with new Swansea City contract". BBC Sport. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  16. ^ "Blackburn Rovers 4 – 2 Swansea City". BBC Sport. 3 December 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  17. ^ "Jazz Richards has future at Liberty, says Michael Laudrup". WalesOnline. 29 March 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  18. ^ Jon Doel (10 September 2013). "Swansea City full-back Jazz Richards joins Huddersfield on loan". WalesOnline. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  19. ^ Sian Cowper (7 July 2013). "Jazz Richards hopes to impress Michael Laudrup". Sports Mole. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  20. ^ "Crystal Palace sign Swansea's Ashley Richards on loan". BBC Sport. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  21. ^ "Hudderfield Town 0 – 1 Crystal Palace". BBC Sport. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  22. ^ "Glenn Murray scored late double as Crystal Palace beat Charlton 2–1". Sky Sports. 2 February 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  23. ^ "Jazz Richards signs new three-year Swansea City contract". BBC Sport. 28 March 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  24. ^ "Malmo 0 – 0 Swansea City". BBC Sport. 8 August 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  25. ^ "Huddersfield Town sign Swansea City's Jazz Richards". BBC Sport. 10 September 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  26. ^ Mel Booth (16 September 2013). "Swansea City loan man Jazz Richards furious at FIFA paperwork snag as Huddersfield Town boss Robins admits: 'We are in the lap of the Gods'". The Huddersfield Examiner. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  27. ^ Doug Thomson (19 September 2013). "Huddersfield Town 2 Charlton Athletic 1: Examiner match report". The Huddersfield Examiner. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  28. ^ "Jazz Returns To Swansea City". Huddersfield Town A.F.C. 17 December 2013. Archived from the original on 20 September 2016. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  29. ^ "Everton 3 – 1 Swansea City". BBC Sport. 16 February 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  30. ^ "Swansea City 1 – 0 Rotherham United". BBC Sport. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  31. ^ "Sunderland 0 – 0 Swansea City". BBC Sport. 27 September 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  32. ^ Chris Wathan (17 October 2014). "Stoke City vs Swansea City: Everything you need to know about Sunday's Premier League clash". WalesOnline. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  33. ^ Chris Wathan (10 June 2015). "Swansea City full-back Jazz Richards set for Fulham move after £500,000 fee agreed". WalesOnline. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  34. ^ "Swansea City 1 – 2 Tottenham Hotspur". BBC Sport. 14 December 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  35. ^ a b c Simon Gaskell (23 December 2014). "Swansea City's Jazz Richards: I took Twitter flak from Swans fans for Tottenham Hotspur mistake". WalesOnline. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  36. ^ a b c Jazz Richards at Soccerbase
  37. ^ "Jazz joins Fulham on loan". Swansea City A.F.C. 24 January 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  38. ^ "Sky Bet Championship: Blackburn Rovers battle to 2–1 victory over Fulham at Ewood Park". Sky Sports. 1 February 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  39. ^ "Jazz extends Fulham loan for remainder of season". Swansea City A.F.C. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  40. ^ Matt Lewis (10 June 2015). "Fulham transfer news: Swansea accept bid for Jazz Richards". Get West London. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  41. ^ "Jazz Joins Fulham". Fulham F.C. Archived from the original on 2 July 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
  42. ^ "Team News". Fulham F.C. 24 September 2015. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  43. ^ "Team News". Fulham F.C. 29 October 2015. Archived from the original on 30 October 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  44. ^ Paul Warburton (1 March 2016). "Fulham boss insists there is a future for Wales international and ex-Swansea Jazz Richards – but it's not where you think". Get West London. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  45. ^ Phil Smith (13 July 2016). "Ex-Swansea City defender Jazz Richards could become first Welsh signing of Paul Trollope's Cardiff City tenure". WalesOnline. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  46. ^ "Cardiff sign Wales defender Jazz Richards as Scott Malone moves to Fulham". BBC Sport. 19 July 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  47. ^ Paul Abbandonato (7 August 2016). "Why Cardiff City fans booed former Swansea City star Jazz Richards – the full inside story of what happened". WalesOnline. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  48. ^ Chris Wathan (10 August 2016). "Cardiff City star Jazz Richards insists he DID do the Ayatollah as boss Paul Trollope holds talks with former Swansea City defender". WalesOnline. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  49. ^ Michael Pearlman (22 December 2016). "Cardiff boss Warnock disappointed at speed of Richards return". BBC Sport. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  50. ^ "Cardiff City 1–0 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. 2 January 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  51. ^ "Jazz Richards: Wales defender 'back in the game' at Cardiff City". BBC Sport. 8 March 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  52. ^ "Jazz Richards ankle injury blow for Wales and Cardiff City". BBC Sport. 26 September 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  53. ^ Jamie Kemble (8 August 2018). "Are Cardiff City leaving themselves short in the right-back position? Why Warnock should be looking to add depth ahead of Premier League start". Inside Wales Sport. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  54. ^ "Friendly international: Mexico 2–0 Wales". BBC Sport. 27 May 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  55. ^ "Euro 2016: Wales include Joe Ledley in 23-man squad for Euro 2016". BBC Sport. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  56. ^ Dafydd Pritchard (11 June 2016). "Wales 2–1 Slovakia". BBC Sport. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  57. ^ "Euro 2016: Wales lose semi-final but are still winners". BBC Sport. 7 July 2016. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  58. ^ a b "Jazz Richards". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  59. ^ Mel Booth (11 September 2013). "Huddersfield Town's Swansea City loanee Jazz Richards is a 'real footballing right-back' says journalist who's watched his career". The Huddersfield Examiner. Retrieved 20 September 2016.

External linksEdit