TALKING PORT: Owen Williams

With the FAW implementing Phase 2 on the Return to Football guidance, we are eagerly awaiting an announcement on when the JD Cymru South may start. In the meantime, Brandon Arthur caught up with Blues’ midfielder Owen Williams for Talking Port to discuss his recent awards, lockdown and tier two football. 

Hi Owen, thank you very much for your time. You recently picked up the 2019/20 Player of the Season award, how proud were you to receive that accolade?

It’s my pleasure, mate. It’s always great to win awards and it was the cherry on the top with us also achieving promotion. I know it was  a very competitive award as so many of our guys stepped up during the last campaign and left their mark on the season.

You were also voted Supporters’ Player of the Season. How did that feel?

Yeah, it really means a lot to be voted by our supporters. I think they know I have a huge amount of respect for them and I know a lot of them personally now. So it was nice to see that they appreciate what I do on the pitch.

Were you a little aggrieved to not pick up the Goal of the Season award for your stunner at Gorseinon?

Haha! It would have been nice to get three from three but I don’t think I am going to lose sleep over it.

Of course, the awards were handed out virtually amidst the pandemic. What was it like to meet up with the squad over Zoom?

It was a great night! There’s so much personality in the team that no matter how or where you meet up with them, you are always guaranteed a good laugh. That being paired with Mark [Pike]’s presentation made for a very enjoyable night.

And how has lockdown been treating you since March?

It’s been nonstop since March. I have bought, renovated, moved into our new home and I’ve also started a new job, so I’ve been quite fortunate to have a lot of things keeping me busy. Otherwise I wouldn’t know how I would have coped in all honesty.

Although it was cut short, the 2019/20 season was a successful one finishing in promotion. How do you reflect on the campaign?

I can’t really look back on the season with anything other than positivity. We achieved what we set out to do albeit maybe not in the most conventional way. There are a lot of times where I know myself and the team wish we could change or have done better, especially some of the losses, but that’s done now and we can only look forward.

How much are you looking forward to the club being back in tier two?

Immensely! I think the league has needed this level of local competition for a long time and if there is ever a time for local teams to capitalise on an opportunity it’s now. We have an immense number of fixtures next year which promise to show very competitive football every week and hopefully with a strong marketing/football campaign we can bring a lot of fans and regulars back to the club.

It was recently announced that the playing squad had committed for next season. How excited are you to continue with the club and the rebuild project?

Yeah, it’s great that the majority of the squad is coming to its third year together now which I think will pay dividends next season in what is a challenging league. I think to not have one player leave is a huge compliment to the club which, I am sure, they can be rest assured that us players have a lot of confidence in the people behind the scenes.

Along with the players who have stayed, Mark has also managed to bring in a number of good acquisitions in Matthew [Clement] who is a very respected coach with a huge arsenal of tactics, sessions and modern methods of coaching, along with Adam [Jenkins] and Darius [Waters] who both bring experience beyond their years

Finally, is there a standout game or venue that you’re looking forward to playing in the Cymru South?

Afan Lido. I mean there’s been an ongoing battle for bragging rights since before I was walking so these fixtures always bring feisty affairs! Last time we played it was 4-4, but there are going to be many of these kinds of affairs next season with so many local teams coming up against each other. I know myself and the squad are chomping at the bit to get started.