Dunfermline Athletic

Owain clocks up 500 but focus is on Pars success

Wednesday, 1st Dec 2021

In a career where dreams have come true, Owain proclaims I’m gonna be the man who’s working hard for you!

In surpassing the milestone of 500 senior appearances on Friday night at Firhill, Dunfermline goalkeeper Owain Fôn Williams is hopeful that he can make many more appearances citing Edwin van der Sar’s success at Manchester United as proof that keepers of his age can go on to even greater things in the senior years of their careers.

Having grown up in an area of his native land devoid of any senior football club, Owain’s boyhood ambition was always to play for his country. He achieved that in 2015 but was pleased this week to retrace his journey.

His first senior appearance was for Stockport County on 9th August 2008 in front of 15,578 fans inside the Galpharm Stadium:-

“I remember my first league game, it was against Huddersfield in League One. I was 21 and that was the start of my journey, a secure cemented number one playing at a decent standard.

“It was a very proud moment. All I ever wanted to do was to play football, I didn’t want to be on the bench, I didn’t want to be lower down the pecking order or whatever. I wanted to play games.

“I had a bit of fire in my belly to reach 500 games and I wanted to do it as soon as I possibly could. Every professional footballer has goals and to reach 500 games was a proud moment for me and for my family.”

Considering a goalkeeper either plays every minute or none at all, to clock up 500 is a great achievement. He claimed that there were many notable games along his way earning him a place in the Welsh squad for Euro 2016 and to live the dream was undoubtedly the highlight:-

“My dream was to play for Wales. I didn’t support a team, I’m from a pocket of Wales where there is no local team. I haven’t got a team like Dunfermline on my doorstep, the nearest team for me would probably be Liverpool and that is over two and a half hours away or Wrexham. The only team that I would pretend playing for in my back garden with my brothers was to play for Wales.

“To have done that and to have played for Wales over the age groups that I have done that was a special one for me and obviously the icing on the cake was to, not just see my country play in a major tournament, but to be involved in it.”

To go all the way to the semi final and to see what it takes for a football team to go against all the odds in a way is quite special. Owain confirmed that the fire in his belly is still alight for Dunfermline and will be for a good few years yet:-

“There is no two ways about that. I lost the small sided game this week and that is still killing me right now. It is something within me and it will be within me till the day I hang my gloves up. You have either got it or you haven’t got it I think. Look at the Premierleague and look at the Champions League, the goalkeepers that play there they are all way into their thirties.”

At the age of 34 Owain now realises just what ex Welsh international goalkeeper Neville Southall, used to say to him when he used to coach him:-

“I was told when I was seventeen that 80 to 90 per cent of the game will be played in your head. At the time I didn’t know what he meant but as I played and gained more experience the penny dropped.

“I only touch the ball a handful of times during a game but the game is played constantly in my head about situations that might happen. You have to think these things so that you can react quick enough for when it does happen. With all that experience it is only going to benefit you. Providing your body is fine you can go on and on.”

Owain looks up to Edwin van der Sar as one of his idols and notes that the Dutch keeper was Owain’s age when he was signed by Alex Ferguson:-

“I think I saw when Edwin van der Sar arrived at Manchester United he won eleven trophies. A well oiled engine if you like, who had been there done it, seen it, composed - what more do you want in a goalkeeper? A Steady Eddie who was going to give you eight out of ten.”

Owain stressed that we need look no further than the Scotland international team for further evidence of longevity of keeper’s careers:-

“The three goalkeepers that Scotland have had in goal in the Euros and right now - Craig Gordon, Allan McGregor they are all touching forty but they are probably playing as good football right now as they ever have.

“It is all rehearsed in the brain, they have done it a million times and they know that a lot of the time in goalkeeping it is all about decision making rather than how much you can jump. It is decision making and your angles. The more often than not that you can make the right decisions then you are going to come out on top.”

The experience of 500 senior matches is now all centred on achieving success for Dunfermline and his former gaffer, John Hughes, the man responsible for bringing him to Scotland:-

“All my energy is going towards this football club and getting this football club to where it wants to be and should be. That is all that I am thinking of, all my time and energy goes purely towards that.

“I have been lucky enough to have worked with John before at Inverness. Personally I am delighted to see him come in through the door because I know how he values the game, I know how he works.

“Like I said after the game at Inverness, he is a teacher and he teaches you football. It is an education with him. We could be sat going over a game but it tends to be an education in football. It is as clear as black and white how the game should be played from his point of view.

“From a player’s point of view then it is fairly easy because you then know exactly what is required of you. I like that from him, he simplifies it and the way he talks makes it sound really easy, but if you do follow those instructions like we saw against Ayr here it can certainly work really well for you.”

Saturday will be Owain’s first return to Hamilton since leaving the Accies to join Dunfermline. Understandably he claimed that it will be nice to go there and see some familiar faces again.

“I keep in touch with one or two but, let’s be honest, we have a job to do and that’s to bring back three points. I am looking forward to giving it everything that we have got and playing like we can play, keeping that ball and hopefully we get the win.

“It goes without saying really, every game that we play now is an opportunity to get something from it, get three points. It doesn’t really matter who you are playing against and where they are, we just need the three points. We need to have that desire and will to run all over your opponent and steal three points from them. That is the nature of the game.”



Owain also talked to Jordan Burt for ParsTV



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