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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 March 2006, 15:22 GMT
Police ready for Swans' invasion
Swansea City fans
Swansea hope more than 30,000 fans will travel to Cardiff
Tickets have gone on sale for Swansea City's first game at the Millennium Stadium, with the club hoping to take up to 40,000 fans to Cardiff.

After previous clashes between rival Swansea and Cardiff fans, police said they were "prepared" for the fixture.

The box office opened on Saturday for the Swans' LDV Vans Trophy final against Carlisle on 2 April.

It may also be the club's last visit to the national stadium, with finals due to return to Wembley after this season.

South Wales Police said they were experienced in dealing with similar events in Cardiff.

A spokesman said: "We have a plan in place which we are looking at in terms of policing this event.

"We have years of experience in policing these sorts of events including matches such as the FA Cup final.

"We now come prepared to deal with large crowds and, as ever, we will make the city as safe as we can."

Swansea's appearance in the final comes 12 years after the club beat Huddersfield Town on penalties at Wembley to win the same competition, then named the Autoglass Trophy.

Realistically, this is probably Swansea's only chance to play a big game at the Millennium Stadium
Phil Sumbler, Swansea City Supporters' Trust

Tickets for this year's final went on sale at 1000 GMT at the club's Liberty Stadium to Swansea season ticket holders and other selected groups, before going on general sale on Thursday.

Swansea have been allocated 33,000 tickets for the 72,000-capacity stadium, but may request up to 40,000 if there is demand for more.

A club spokesman said it was optimistic of selling the allocation.

He added: "The manager (Kenny Jackett) has said we are looking at 40,000 and I think the minimum we are looking at is 25,000 to 30,000 fans.

"When we went up to Wembley in 1994, we took 15,000 to 20,000 supporters and Cardiff is closer.

Millennium Stadium
The game is Swansea's first visit to the Millennium Stadium

"The interest has been phenomenal - everyone's talking about it and we are looking at turning Cardiff black and white.

"It's a special game because it's the last of these finals to be held at the Millennium Stadium, which is just up the road for us."

He said plans were in place to minimise the possibility of clashes with supporters of Cardiff on the streets of the capital.

He said: "There are discussions going on with the police and Cardiff Council over things like travel arrangements, but we are expecting a good day in Cardiff."

No concerns

However, Swansea could possibly reach a second Millennium Stadium final this season.

A 2-1 win over Brentford on Friday took them to third in League One, which could take them to the play-off final due to be played in Cardiff in May - also for the last time before the rebuilt Wembley opens.

Phil Sumbler, of Swansea City Supporters' Trust, said while the LDV Vans Trophy was not as important as promotion, the game had sparked expectation among supporters.

He said: "It's still a big final - if you speak to anyone who was at Wembley in 1994, they'll give you their own memories.

"It could be the first of two Cardiff finals, but realistically, this is probably Swansea's only chance to play a big game at the Millennium Stadium."

He said he had no concerns about visiting the home city of their arch-rivals.

He said: "South Wales Police have dealt with Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea - much bigger clubs than Swansea.

"I understand people asking the question given the rivalry between Swansea and Cardiff, but Cardiff have a rivalry with Bristol City and 40,000 of their fans were there (in 2004) with no problems.

"I've no worries about it and I'd say to any Swansea supporter to get their ticket and go along."




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