Press reporter Connor Teale caught up with childhood friend and former Howden Clough JFC teammate Jordon Garrick, who is now playing first team football with Swansea City FC...
From scoring goals for Howden Clough JFC on the fields of Upper Batley Low Lane to netting for Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium, Jordon Garrick’s rise to the top has been remarkable.
Born in Jamaica, Jordon grew up in Liversedge, went to school at Whitcliffe Mount and played his junior football with Howden Clough JFC.
He spent just shy of 10 years as a winger with the amateur club, terrorising defences and scoring bags of goals – and it was clear to most of us that he was going to be something special.
But it was at Ossett Albion that Jordon was spotted by Swansea City scouts, and he signed for the then Premier League club just after his 17th birthday.
Only a year earlier, Jordon had flirted with the possibility of abandoning football in favour of rugby league, with Bradford Bulls interested in his services.
But in a career-defining moment, the advice of his football Sunday league coach, and his mum, persuaded Jordon to switch his attention back to football.
Having just turned 21, it could be argued this season was make or break for Jordon – and he’s thrived under the pressure.
The month of August saw him make his senior debut for the club against Northampton Town in the League Cup, as well as his Championship debut versus QPR.
His first goal arrived in a recent 6-0 thrashing of Cambridge United, when Jordon latched onto a fumble by the goalkeeper and fired into the roof of the net.
Speaking about his debut on August 13, he said: “It was a bit surreal, it’s been coming for the last two years but to finally get the debut was a crazy feeling.
“When the manager called me over I couldn’t believe it, I had to double-check he was saying my name.”
A week later, Jordon was brought on in the 66th minute at Loftus Road, with Swansea chasing a winner against QPR.
He’d only been on the pitch for five minutes when he cut inside from the wing and drew a foul from the defender to win a penalty for Swansea – and his team eventually ran out 3-1 winners.
The winger isn’t getting ahead of himself though, and he acknowledges he still has a lot of work in front of him.
“Right now I’m just trying to break into the squad – I’m with them full time but I want to be starting games,” he said.
“My ambition is to break into the starting 11 and give the manager more options than he had before.”
To date, Jordon has made four appearances in the Swansea City first team – and he’ll be hoping for many more memorable moments before he returns to his family home on Third Avenue in Hightown at the end of the season.