Teenage defender Tivonge Rushesha has expressed his gratitude towards Wayne Routledge for the invaluable words of wisdom and encouragement he has received during a breakthrough season with Swansea City.
It has been a campaign to remember for the 17-year-old, who has been with the Swans since under-12 level.
After a solid start to 2019-20 with the under-23s – for whom he has made 17 appearances this term – the Zimbabwean-born full-back made his first-team debut in August’s Carabao Cup clash against Cambridge United at the Liberty.
Rushesha, who became one of the youngest players ever to represent the club at the tender age of just 17 years and 35 days old, accomplished another significant milestone just over four months later; putting pen to paper on his first pro deal with Swansea.
The youngster has also trained with Steve Cooper’s first-team squad at Fairwood on several occasions and is hugely appreciative of the invaluable advice and guidance he has received from one senior player in particular.
“Wayne’s looked after me really well,” he said of 35-year-old Routledge, who has racked up over 250 appearances during nine seasons with the Swans, while he made his senior debut aged 16 at Crystal Palace.
“He’s embraced his role as a senior player very well. You can tell that he genuinely wants to help the younger players.
“It’s not as if he’s forcing it or doing anything he wouldn’t normally. He is just a nice guy.
“He’s told me to keep my head down and that any decision that’s made is based on how I play, so to make sure I control what I can and that I do as well as I can.
“It’s good to have him there. I’ll always be thankful and grateful for any time he helps me out.”