Nick Wagner In Swaziland -- Yes, Swaziland

Discussion in 'Yanks Abroad' started by Dave Marino-Nachison, Oct 6, 2006.

  1. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999
    Renaldo Christians, new coach of the Mbabane Swallows, has some ties to the U.S. it seems, and decided to recruit Wagner to his squad:

    He brought with him three players, Nick Wagner, a 20-year-old American defender...​



    Nick Wagner, the 20-year-old American defender, said as soon as he got a chance to play, he would make sure that he puts it to good use. Wagner described himself as an aggressive defender, who would do his best for Swallows.

    “My job is to make the midfielders’ job easy. I promise that I will bring the American football flair when I get the chance. I seriously want to play but I cannot be pointing fingers at anyone because I know that they are working on our issue,” he said.

    Wagner said he was happy with the kind of reception he got from Swazi people when he arrived and further stated that he was feeling at home. He warned members of the fairrier [sic] sex that as much as he was single, he was not available.

    Wagner grew up playing for USA Major Soccer League side Columbus Crew’s juniors. He came to Swaziland whilst talks were being facilitated for him to join Premier League side Manchester City.

    He commended Swallows’ USA-based Coach Renaldo Christians, who showed confidence in him and brought him into the country. ​


    It looks like Christians, a South African native, has been living and working in the Columbus, Ohio, area.

    There is a Nick Wagner who played for Saginaw Valley State a few years back, but I doubt he'd be 20 today. Still looking for more info on the player and this whole story in general.

    Swaziland, for those who don't know, is a small nation landlocked by South Africa and Mozambique. Mbabane is its capital. Given its excessively high rate of HIV/AIDS infection, it's perhaps unsurprisng that Wagner is being careful about how he circulates "socially."
    Testudo repped this.
  2. AGF Aarhus

    AGF Aarhus Member

    Union Berlin
    Apr 7, 2001
    Union Berlin
    Isn't this also the country where the King has something like 200 wives? Maybe all the good ones are taken and Nick wants to hedge his bets.
  3. DaPrince84

    DaPrince84 Member+

    Aug 22, 2001
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    whts American flair?
  4. ugaaccountant

    ugaaccountant New Member

    Oct 26, 2003
    Very nice, 3 minutes to produce a pieces of flair picture! Repped

    USvsIRELAND Member+

    Jul 19, 2004
    I'm gonna have to ball BS on this.
  6. Swazicar

    Swazicar Member

    Jun 10, 2004
    Portland, Ore.
    Perhaps a slight overestimate.;)
  7. Beantowner

    Beantowner Member

    Aug 19, 2005
    HK / Shanghai / NY
    New York City FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah, that and maybe dispelling the likelihood of providing women a highly desired "Green Card". It's still a pretty weird comment/quote for Wagner to state and a paper to publish.
  8. Deimos

    Deimos Member

    Apr 23, 1999
    Louisville, KY, USA
    The King only has 13 wives, you might be thinking of his father, who had more like that number.

    It's done to solidify political power. Same reason the Czarina of Russia in the 19th century was the cousin of the British King.
  9. pething101

    pething101 Member

    Jul 31, 2001
    Smyrna, Ga
    West Ham United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    Since when did Mickey Rooney steal Deimos' password?
  10. LittleMaradona

    Feb 25, 2001
    Playing the the ELP vs. playing in's a toss-up, you can't go wrong either way.
  11. Godalfree

    Godalfree New Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    New Orleans
    The current king of Swaziland, Mswati III:
    He was the child of the King Sobhuza and Ntombi Thwala. "In Swaziland no king can appoint his successor. Only the royal family decides which of the wives shall be "Great wife" and "Indlovukazi" (She-Elephant / Queen Mother). The son of this "Great Wife" will automatically become the next king."

    His dad, King Sobhuza II:
    "According to the Swaziland National Trust Commission, "King Sobhuza II married 70 wives, and had 210 children between 1920 and 1970 (i.e. three children per wife, on average)." Many are still alive today."


    Sorry, I just found that to be pretty interesting.
  12. PaulGascoigne

    PaulGascoigne Member+

    Feb 5, 2001
    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Dave Marino-Nachison again."
  13. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    He wouldn't be the first American to play in the Swazi league. Aren't there one or two BS posters who played for Eleven Men In Flight at some time?
  14. thespian89

    thespian89 Member

    Aug 22, 2006
  15. LittleMaradona

    Feb 25, 2001
    That's about as believable as when "Cry-Baby what's his face" from Greece was talking about being courted by the biggest names in Europe before he decided he had bigger fish to kill playing for some no-name second divison Greek team.
  16. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999
    Couple updates on this story.

    The coach has returned to the States (but presumably intends to return):

    “My family has a slight problem, which I think needs my special attention. I think I will have to leave for two weeks, but will rush back to boost the team as the league is still at the primary stages. This is the time when the team should perform exceptionally well to beat the pressure,” he said.

    Christians said he had communicated with the team’s authorities and they were still finalising issues pertaining to his departure. He said though he would be away, his heart would be with Swallows as he knew that he had a tough assignment to win several titles with the SwaziBank Cup reigning champions.

    He said he was optimistic that the players would not feel the gap during his absence and expressed hope that by the time he leaves, issues of work permits for the three other overseas players would have been sorted out. ​


    However, it does appear that Wagner is cleared to play this weekend having obtained his permit:

    MBABANE Swallows’ overseas players and South Africa-born coach Renaldo Christians have secured work permits on time for the team’s next MTN League game against Manzini Sundowns this weekend.

    The overseas players are striker Stephen Thurlby from England, midfielder Marcos Silva from Brazil and defender Nick Wagner from the United States of America (USA).

    Swallows’ USA-based coach Christians confirmed that the work permits, including that of Mozambican striker Patricio Madzina and a goalkeeper from South Africa were approved last Friday.

    None of Swallows’ foreign legion played a part in the team’s first MTN League game against Mbabane Highlanders last week because their papers had not been approved.

    “All our foreign players will feature for the team in our next game,” said the excited coach, adding, the players have been eager to get some action since they arrived here.” ​


    Finally, thanks to Bill Archer for doing some background work on this story -- posted in the Crew forum:
    Testudo repped this.
  17. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Real Madrid
    I went to Swaziland in 1998 or 1999. I was told that the King must marry one wife per year. Basically, all the marriages were poltical. He must appease all the different tribes by marrying at least one of the tribeswomen.

    The country is very beautiful. It was liked suburban of South Africa. Before the end of apartheid, South Africans went there for gambling and prositutions.
  18. Wahoo

    Wahoo New Member

    Aug 15, 2001
    Seattle, USA
    What happens in Swaziland, stays in Swaziland
  19. Swazicar

    Swazicar Member

    Jun 10, 2004
    Portland, Ore.
    For practical purposes, Swaziland really has only one ethic group--the Swazi (emaSwati). Yes, a couple percent of the population are people sometimes called the "white Swazi," and maybe a few percent more trace their ancestry to non-Swazi African groups, but for all intents and purposes, the country is populated by essentially one group. Perhaps "clan" was the word you're looking for.
    UniversalAdvice repped this.
  20. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999
    This story just got even more amazing. Apparently Wagner, Christians and a few other guys up and left the club on Friday:

    MBABANE – What was hailed as a milestone not only for Mbabane Swallows but the entire football fraternity has turned out to be a dream!

    Swallows’ temperamental coach Renaldo Christians and two of his players, the likeable Brazilian Marco Silva and Nick [Wagner], have quit the club even before they could start work locally.


    “I am leaving Swallows and my flight in Johannesburg is scheduled for 9pm tomorrow (today). I am not coming back after Swallows failed to keep their part of the promise. I am greatly disappointed by the team after we went through so much.

    “To us it appeared like they were not really interested in seeing us work here. Ever since we arrived, they have done nothing with regards to a lot of issues like securing the players and myself work permits. This shows that they were never really serious after all,” he said.

    (Most of Christians’ comments about the team will not be published due to their defamatory nature)

    The coach, who was in the company of Silva said he was willing to take up any offers locally but made it clear that he was not desperate.

    “I have so many offers in Europe but we were merely interested in exposing Swazi talent. Take nothing away from this country, the players are so talented and most can play anywhere, especially the players at Swallows. They are so good such that my decision will not stop me from taking some of them to Europe,” he said.​


    Then, a few days later, they up and decided to stay!

    MANZINI - In a swift change of events, Mbabane Swallows United States of America (USA) born coach, Renaldo Christians and the entire foreign contingent is now staying put.

    Renaldo, who had earlier claimed Swallows acted in bad faith by failing to fulfil most of their promises, was a changed man yesterday.

    “We have cleared the confusion with the club management and everything has been sorted out and it’s business as usual,” he said.​

    It seems perhaps the overseas players have not yet recieved their work permits after all, and they didn't play this weekend.

    Google News has a Sunday story from the Swazi Observer I can't get to load but will try to get a peek at ASAP.
    Testudo repped this.
  21. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999
    The Observer story is working now. A bit more:

    When asked about reports that he had squabbles that almost resulted in his flight from the ‘Birds’ nest, Christians said everything had been sorted out and he was now staying put.

    “We met with the team’s management, resolved everything and shook hands afterwards. This means that we will now work collaborately to serve one common goal,” he said. When quizzed about why he could not make it to technical area, Christians said he had not yet acquired his work permit. He said the same thing applied to the team’s three overseas players Marco Silva, Stephen Thurlby and Nick Wagner.

    He further stated that the players were fully registered and he had seen the registration process with his naked eyes.​

    Testudo repped this.
  22. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999

    MBABANE Swallows have parted ways with United States of America (USA)-based coach Renaldo Christians and his three players.

    The team’s PRO, Bongani Mamba, announced the latest developments during a press conference yesterday at Sigwaca House.

    The players are Nick Wagner, a 20-year-old American defender, Marcos Silva, a 23-year-old from Brazil and Stephen Thurlby, a 22-year-old striker, who hails from England.

    The coach and players arrived almost two months ago and had only featured for the team in friendly games. The publicist said Renaldo and the players had been informed about the decision, which was resolved in a management meeting held after the game against Manzini Wanderers played on Sunday at Somhlolo National Stadium, where Swallows lost 1-2.

    They are expected to leave the country anytime soon after the team secured E29 000 for their air tickets. He said the main reason behind the coach and his players’ unsuccessful stay was the fact that they were too costly for the team.

    This is apart from the fact that the team had failed to secure international clearances from their respective Football Associations (FAs) and work permits.

    Mamba further said the agreement they had reached with the coach’s (Renaldo) company, a sports agency called International Sporting Network Ltd was unsuccessful.

    “We tried to write a letter to their countries requesting their clearances. We got correspondence from the England’s FA that Stephen’s name appears in their records.

    We failed to locate the others and it shows that they were playing for leagues that were not recognised by their countries’ FAs,” explained the former Illovo PRO. ​


    A bit more on the club's finances:

    MBABANE Swallows will spend close to E70 000 towards payment of hotel bills and buying air-tickets for the United States of America (USA) based coach Renaldo Christians and his players.

    Swallows have to part with E40 000 in payment of hotel bills the coach and players accumulated since their arrival in the country almost two months ago. They went on to buy them air-tickets, worth about E29 000. ​


    Perhaps Wagner should have stuck with the Manchester City option.
    Testudo repped this.
  23. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Forgive me for being so provincial, but does the "E" indicate Euros? Did these guys really run up a hotel bill of 40,000 Euros? That's like 700 a day. In freakin Swaziland.

    This is such great comedy that you have to keep checking to make sure it's not The Onion

    I particularly enjoyed the claim that Coach Christians has "so many offers from Europe" for coaching jobs. I had no idea that European clubs put such a high value on guys who spent the last five years coaching U10's in Pickerington Ohio. (Although in fairness, his team did win the U10 championship two years ago)

    Guess we should give a little more respect to all those Dads out there on Saturday mornings hollering at little kids. We thought they were just a bunch of schlubs; little did we know they were auditioning for Bayer Lverkusen.

    And I guess this means Nick Wagner, whose resume announces that he "grew up" playing for "Crew Juniors" in Columbus, Ohio - even though, remarkably enough, there is and never has been any such team - will just have to jet on to Manchester City and accept their offer.

    There may of course be the small problem of a work permit for a guy whose latest - indeed just about only - experience is a season playing for a community college in Cincinnati. But for someone with his "famous American flair" I'm certain that won't be a problem.

    I'm sad to see this story come to a close, but can the movie rights be far behind?
  24. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999
    This at least I can answer.

    In fact "E" is for emalangeni, which is the plural of lilangeni, the Swazi currency. According to Bloomberg, E100 is about $13, so E40,000 is creeping up on $5200.

    This story appears to me to be further evidence that American Soccer Is At A Crossroads.

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