GARRY Monk has admitted he has done “a lot of soul searching” after agreeing a contract extension at Swansea City.
Just 24 hours after Leon Britton signed a new deal at the Liberty Stadium, another of Swansea’s stalwarts has followed suit.
Monk has put pen to paper on a 12-month extension to his current agreement, which ties him to the club until the summer of 2015.
Monk has been linked with moves to a number of Championship sides this season after Michael Laudrup indicated that he would only be a fringe figure in his squad.
But Swansea’s club skipper has managed eight appearances — and continues to prove his worth whenever called upon — and his contribution has been recognised.
“I’m delighted,” Monk said. “This club has been my life for nearly ten years and I love it here. My heart is here and I’ve never wanted to leave from the very first day I arrived. I’ve had a few offers to move elsewhere this season and I’ve had to do a lot of soul searching to establish what’s best to prolong my career. The club didn’t want me to go, so I felt that while I am still contributing to the team — on and off the pitch — this was the place I wanted to be.
“I’m grateful to the club for their show of faith in me, but I believe it is something I’ve worked hard for.
“I may not be the youngest member of the squad, but I’ve kept myself fit and competitive.
“I haven’t played as much as I would have liked this season, but when I’ve played I think I’ve shown that I can compete at this level.
“I’m certainly not going to step aside for the younger players and make it easy for them — I’m still willing to fight for my place and do my best when called upon.”
Monk, who will be 34 next month, joined Swansea on a free transfer in the summer of 2004.
His signing has proved to be a masterstroke, for the former Southampton man has been a key figure in the club’s climb from the basement division to the Premier League. Monk has captained Swansea at all four levels of the English game — a unique achievement at the club — and, though he may not be a regular starter, he remains a strong influence in the dressing room.
“It’s hard not playing regularly, but it’s something I understand,” he added. “It’s the manager’s decision at the end of the day and I’m experienced enough to understand that.
“But 99 per cent of managers in the league will tell you that it’s also important to have experience in the squad to help the youngsters on and off the pitch.
“I believe I still have influence in the dressing room because I haven’t let my standards slip.
“I still train hard and push the boys in front of me as much as I can. We are all in it together at this club and that has been vital to our success over the years. I aim to stay competitive and help wherever I can. The day I stop competing is the day I finally move on.”
Monk is due to take his Uefa ‘A’ coaching licence next season, and has been tipped to take a role on the Swansea management when he hangs up his boots. But for now the central defender insists his focus is on playing.