The last Middlesbrough team to win on the opening day and where they are ten years on

Kike is surrounded by team mates after scoring Boro's 2nd goal against Birmingham City
-Credit: (Image: Evening Gazette)

Michael Carrick will be aiming to end a ten-year Middlesbrough wait for an opening-day victory when they host Swansea City on August 10.

Boro learned their Championship fixture list on Wednesday morning, with the South Wales outfit first up for them at the Riverside. Carrick is hoping his side can get off to a good start and the fact he's won all three games against Swansea so far, and the fact Boro have won each of the last four meetings on Teesside is a good omen.

If they are to get the opening-day win, it will be Boro's first in ten years, with 2014's 2-0 Riverside victory over Birmingham City their last opening-day win. That season saw Aitor Karanka's side finish fourth before losing out in the play-off final before going on to achieve promotion to the Premier League 12 months later.

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Boro will be hoping to emulate the opening-day achievements of that Boro side, though it's clear that they then want to use that as a marker to then kick-on and get back to the top flight, with this upcoming season their eighth in the Championship consecutively. With that in mind, we look back at that last opening-day winning Boro team and see what came next and where they are now.

Tomas Mejias - Making his first appearance as a Boro player after making his loan move a permanent one, the Spaniard would join Boro for a second spell between 2019 and 2021. Remembered for his penalty heroics at Old Trafford in which Carrick missed a penalty, Mejias is still playing at the age of 35. He joined Spanish second-tier side Cartagena in February.

Seb Hines - One of just five appearances the academy graduate made in his final season which also included a loan spell at Coventry City and Orlando City, Hines left Boro on a free at the end of the season and joined Orlando on a permanent basis. He retired after two years and began coaching in their academy. He eventually stepped up to become head coach of their NWSL affiliate Orlando Pride and he's held the role for the past two years.

Ben Gibson - After leaving Boro for Burnley, things didn't work out and he ended up at Norwich City where he won a promotion to the Premier League. After four years at Carrow Road the 31-year-old was released this summer and has signed for Championship rivals Stoke City.

Daniel Ayala - The scorer of the opening goal against Birmingham, Ayala left Boro in 2020, not completing the season after the delayed end due to Covid. He went on to join Blackburn where he spent three years and then spent last season at Rotherham where he suffered relegation. Now without a club following his release.

George Friend - Friend would leave Boro in the same summer as Ayala, though he did commit to playing those final games and securing Boro's safety in the Championship. He then had spells at Birmingham and also Bristol Rovers before retiring before the end of the season. He's now started work as Rovers' director of football as he makes his first post-playing career move.

Dean Whitehead - Leaving Boro at the end of that season, Whitehead had three years at Huddersfield before retiring and moving into coaching. His most recent role saw him serve as assistant coach at Watford under Valerian Ismael but he left along with the Frenchman in March and awaits his next role.

Grant Leadbitter - Returning to boyhood club Sunderland to finish his playing career, Leadbitter retired in 2021 and began his coaching career. Initially handed an opportunity in Boro's academy, he stepped up to first-team coaching when Carrick arrived at Boro and remains part of Carrick's coaching team now.

Albert Adomah - After leaving Boro in 2016, Adomah had spells at Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, Cardiff and QPR. He left the Hoops on a free this summer, not long after breaking the record for most Championship appearances. Now 36, he's committed to trying to find a new club and playing on next season.

Lee Tomlin - Always fun to watch on his day, Tomlin played for numerous clubs after Boro, notably Bournemouth, Bristol City and Nottingham Forest. Now retired, he coaches in Leicester City's academy.

Adam Reach - Now 31, academy graduate Reach is still playing and is looking for a new club after being released after three years at West Brom. Prior to that, he had a five-year spell at Sheffield Wednesday following his Boro exit.

Kike Garcia - Boro's second goalscorer against Birmingham, it marked a great debut for the Spaniard. Leaving after just 18 months and just five months before promotion was secured, he joined Eibar in Spain where he spent the next four-and-a-half years. He then spent two years in Osasuna and last summer signed a two-year deal with Deportivo Alaves. Now 34, he'll still be playing Spanish top-flight football next term.

Kenneth Omeruo - On from the bench having extended his loan spell from Chelsea, the defender made 22 appearances in total that season. Part of Chelsea's high-volume loan strategy until leaving in 2019, he is now 30 and enjoying a third spell at Tirkish Super Lig side Kasımpasa.

Luke Williams - Not to be confused with the Swansea City boss Boro will come up against in August, Teessider Williams graduated from the academy but his five appearances in this campaign would signal the end of his time at Boro. Signing for Scunthorpe before spells at Hartlepool and Gateshead, the 31-year-old is now playing Icelandic third-division football for Vikingur.

Emilio Nsue - Still playing at 34 for Spanish third-tier side Intercity, Nsue won the AFCON Golden Boot earlier this year before controversy just recently as Fifa handed him a six-month international ban ruling that he has never been eligible to play for Equatorial Guinea.