Gower better for journey
Midfielder believes he learnt from his experiences in lower leagues
By Chris Galea. Last Updated: October 17, 2011 2:54pm
Mark Gower: Was always confident in his ability to succeed
Experienced Swansea midfielder Mark Gower insists he is a better player now than when he last featured in the Premier League.
The 33-year-old left Tottenham in search of regular first-team football in 2001, turning out for both Barnet and Southend before earning a switch to Swansea three years ago.
Having gone full circle by completing his personal return to the top tier with the Swans back in May, Gower admits he has always learned during his career, even when dipping into non-league football at one stage.
He told skysports.com: "It's just been so up and down, such a yo-yo experience throughout my whole career.
"As a kid, I was hyped up as the next best thing for England, wrapped up in cotton wool and I signed for Spurs. So much was expected of me, but it never quite materialised.
"Looking back, I shouldn't have signed for Barnet really, but that's another story.
"They fell out of the league and all of a sudden I found myself playing non-league football.
"I didn't really know what to do because I was still young, but luckily for me I fought my way back and I was always confident in my ability.
"You just need that lucky break and I had five good years at Southend which gave me the chance to move to Swansea and that's been a great move for me, as three years later I've found myself back in the Premier League.
"When you drop down that far you see what it means to some of the players at that level and it definitely gives you an edge, because when I was at Spurs I mainly played reserve-team football.
"So, that was pros coming back from injury and players who didn't care that much, but in the lower leagues players are more competitive and that livens you up.
"Some of these players would do anything to win and that toughened me up, so I've learnt a lot from that experience."