Date of birth: 23 June 1995
Place of birth: Portsmouth, England
International levels played at: England Under-16s, Under-17s, Under-18s, Under-19s
John Swift joined Chelsea as an Under-14 and is a hard-working box-to-box midfielder who is technically strong and capable of scoring goals. He made his youth team debut as an Under-15 in January 2010 against Crystal Palace and added a further appearance in April, before another six outings while still a schoolboy in 2010/11.
In his first season as a scholar Swift made great progress, scoring his first goal away at Southampton in October 2011 and making 28 appearances for the Under-18s. He started in every round as the team won the 2012 FA Youth Cup, scoring the opening goal of the campaign against Doncaster Rovers in December 2011, and earned widespread praise for his full-blooded yet dexterous displays. His strong form was rewarded at the end of the season with a debut for the reserves against Manchester United.
Swift’s time in 2012/13 was split between the youth team and the Under-21s and he often captained the youth side in league action. He was involved in all but one of the Youth Cup ties as the youngsters once again reached the final, scoring in the second leg of the semi-final against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge with an excellent finish on the break, and he also got his first European experience in the NextGen Series.
The 2013/14 season will live long in the memory for Swift as he successfully added goals to his midfield game, held down a regular place in the Under-21 side and contributed to winning the national league with the older age group. He gave credit to work and dialogue with Frank Lampard for boosting his goalscoring threat, and the improvements were evident after a pre-season that garnered eight goals.
That form was carried on into the campaign as he bagged a total of 18 goals for the Under-21s and Under-19s, including six in seven UEFA Youth League games and the domestic U21 league winner against Arsenal at the Emirates in April, that secured top spot for Dermot Drummy’s side. His progress was capped perfectly in May 2014 when he was handed his first team debut as a late substitute during our final-day win at Cardiff.
An England international at Under-16 through to Under-20 level, Swift signed his first professional contract at the club in the summer of 2012.
He began the 2014/15 season on loan with Championship side Rotherham United. He returned to Chelsea in the November having made four appearances. He moved on loan in January 2015 to League One Swindon and by the end of the season had scored twice in 12 starts and two substitute appearances. However injury prevented his participition in the play-off climax to the Wiltshire club's season.
In the summer of 2015 he helped England Under-20s to fourth place at the Toulon Tournament in France.