Potter as manager of Östersund in 2017
|Full name||Graham Stephen Potter|
|Date of birth||20 May 1975|
|Place of birth||Solihull, England|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Playing position||Full back|
|Swansea City (manager)|
|1993||→ Wycombe Wanderers (loan)||3||(0)|
|1997–2000||West Bromwich Albion||43||(0)|
|1997||→ Northampton Town (loan)||3||(0)|
|1997–1998||→ Northampton Town (loan)||1||(0)|
|1999||→ Reading (loan)||4||(0)|
|2003||→ Shrewsbury Town (loan)||5||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
In a 13-year playing career, he made 307 appearances in the Football League, mainly as a full back, and also played in the Premier League for Southampton. At international level, he was capped once for England at under-21 level.
Potter started his managerial career in December 2010 with Swedish club Östersund. He won three promotions and the Svenska Cupen with Östersund, leading them to the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League knockout stage. He was appointed manager of Championship club Swansea City in June 2018.
Born in Solihull, Potter began his career as a trainee at Birmingham City. After a loan spell at Wycombe Wanderers, he moved on to Stoke City, then to Southampton, where he played in the 6–3 win over Manchester United in 1996. While a Southampton player, he was capped for England U21s in a European Championships qualifier against Moldova.
Potter moved from York City to Boston United in the summer of 2003. He joined Shrewsbury Town on loan in November 2003. In 2004, he moved on a free transfer to Macclesfield Town, where he finished his senior playing career.
Coaching and managerial career
With support from the Professional Footballers' Association, Potter graduated from the Open University in December 2005 with a degree in Social Sciences. He worked as a football development manager for the University of Hull and as technical director for the Ghana women's team at the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup. He became assistant coach for the England Universities Squad, before joining Leeds Metropolitan University in a similar role; while at Leeds, he completed a master's in leadership and emotional intelligence.
In December 2010, Potter signed a three-year contract as coach of Östersund, who were then playing in the fourth tier of Swedish football. Potter was offered the job after Graeme Jones, his friend and assistant to Roberto Martínez at Swansea City, recommended him to chairman Daniel Kindberg after their pre-season friendly with Swansea.
In 2013, after two successive promotions, Potter extended his contract with the club for another three years. On 27 October 2015, Östersund secured promotion to the Swedish top flight, Allsvenskan, for the first time in their history following a second-place finish in the 2015 Superettan. Östersund finished their debut season in eighth place, winning plaudits for their "slick passing game" and competing on a limited budget.
On 13 April 2017, Potter's Östersund team won the Svenska Cupen, beating Norrköping 4–1 in the final. This granted the team a place in the second qualifying round of the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League where they defeated Galatasaray 3–1 on aggregate. In the third round they defeated Fola Esch 3–1 on aggregate and in the play-offs they knocked out PAOK (3–3 on aggregate with more away goals), thus securing a historic entry into the Europa League group stage. They finished second in their group, level on points with Athletic Bilbao. Despite beating Arsenal 2–1 at the Emirates Stadium, they were eliminated from the competition after losing 4–2 on aggregate. Östersund finished their domestic league season in fifth place.
Potter was appointed manager of newly relegated Championship club Swansea City on 11 June 2018 on a three-year contract. He was joined by assistant manager Billy Reid and recruitment analyst Kyle Macaulay. On his appointment, Potter said "This is a Premier League club from the last seven years and it wants to try to get back, but get back in a way that there is an identity and an understanding of what they want to be on the pitch. That was the interesting thing for me – the chance to build something".
Potter won his first match as Swansea boss with a 2–1 victory over Sheffield United, with goals from striker Oliver McBurnie and former Liverpool youngster Yan Dhanda. His first game at Swansea's Liberty Stadium was a 1–0 win against Preston North End. Under Potter, Swansea reached the quarter-finals of the 2018–19 FA Cup, but lost 3–2 to Premier League champions Manchester City.
Potter has been recognised for his "progressive" and "unconventional" coaching methods. At Östersund, he encouraged his players and staff to engage in community activities, such as performing in theatre and music productions designed to take them out of their comfort zone.
Potter describes his teams as "tactically flexible, attacking, [and] possession-based". At Östersund, he deployed a flexible 3–5–2 formation centred on ball possession. Former Celtic and Barcelona player Henrik Larsson commented on Potter's pattern of play, stating he "played all different kinds of systems, starting off a match one way, and then halfway through they started playing a different system, and then they ended up with a third system. And all the players knew exactly what they were doing."
As a young coach, Potter studied the training methods of Roberto Martínez at Swansea and became inspired by his possession-based approach, along with the "holistic" training principles he observed during his travels to Spain. Potter also cites the philosophy of Pep Guardiola and Raymond Verheijen’s periodisation model among his influences.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other[A]||Total|
|Birmingham City||1992–93||First Division||18||2||1||0||0||0||4||0||23||2|
|Wycombe Wanderers (loan)||1993–94||Third Division||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||5||0|
|Stoke City||1993–94||First Division||3||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||5||0|
|West Bromwich Albion||1996–97||First Division||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||6||0|
|Northampton Town (loan)||1997–98||Second Division||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||5||0|
|Reading (loan)||1999–2000||Second Division||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||5||0|
|York City||2000–01||Third Division||38||2||4||1||2||0||0||0||44||3|
|Boston United||2003–04||Third Division||12||0||1||0||1||0||1||0||15||0|
|Macclesfield Town||2003–04||Third Division||16||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||16||2|
- As of match played 16 March 2019
|Östersund||23 December 2010||11 June 2018||249||127||60||62||51.0|||
|Swansea City||11 June 2018||Present||41||16||8||17||39.0|||
- Division 1 Norra: 2012
- Division 2 Norrland: 2011
- Svenska Cupen: 2016–17
- Superettan runner-up: 2015
- Swedish Football Awards Manager of the Year: 2016, 2017
- Swedish Sports Awards Coach of the Year: 2017
- Mid Sweden University: Honorary Doctorate 2018
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- Gwilym, Andrew (20 August 2018). "Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa lifts lid on his talks with Swansea City, his fascinating take on their style and his views on Graham Potter". Wales Online. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
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- Reckmann, Thomas; Jakerson, Minka; Jonsson-Hay, Andreas (12 February 2018). "The Comfort Zone: the unconventional methods of Östersund's Graham Potter – video". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
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- Graham Potter at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
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- "Boss receives honorary doctorate". Swansea City. 18 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Graham Potter.|
- Graham Potter at Soccerbase