Former Wales men’s national team keeper joins Northern Colorado coaching ranks
Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC has hired Owain Fôn Williams to be the side’s goalkeeping coach. Fôn Williams was most recently the starting goalkeeper for Dunfermline Athletic in the Scottish Championship.
“Owain is one of my best signings,” said head coach Éamon Zayed. “I’ve known Owain since we played and lived together years ago with Crewe Alexandra in the English Championship. His experience is up there with any coach in the whole of America. His knowledge of the game will not only help our goalkeepers develop, but also the whole squad and coaching staff.”
The Welshman was capped once by his nation in 2015 against the Netherlands in Cardiff City Stadium. He was also named to the 23-man roster for the 2016 UEFA European Championship, where he backed up Liverpool goalkeeper Danny Ward and Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey in a squad that also included Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale, Tottenham Hotspur defender Ben Davies, Swansea City defender Ashley Williams, Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen, and Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey.
At UEFA Euro 2016, Wales topped group B, finishing ahead of England and Russia, then defeated Northern Ireland in the Round of 16 and Belgium in the quarterfinals before falling to eventual winners Portugal in the semifinals.
Fôn Williams most recently played for Dunfermline Athletic in the Scottish Championship, joining the Pars on loan from Hamilton Academical in 2020 and making the move permanent that same year.
Prior to joining Hamilton Academical, he played for Inverness Caledonian Thistle from 2015-18, making 71 appearances for the team.
He got a taste of US soccer during that time though, as Inverness loaned him to USL club Indy Eleven for the 2018 season, where he had 11 shutouts in 34 appearances and earned Save of the Week honors after stopping a North Carolina FC penalty in stoppage time to preserve a 1-0 win.
Fôn Williams also made 184 appearances for Tranmere Rovers across EFL League One and EFL League Two from 2011-15, 22 for Rochdale in 2011, and 91 for Stockport County from 2008-11—with a further six appearances for Bury in 2010 during a brief emergency loan spell.
Owain Fôn Williams came up through the youth ranks at Crewe Alexandra, and had trial periods at Liverpool and Manchester United. He was on the books at Crewe Alexandra from 2006-08, but after not receiving any playing time, left for Stockport County.
“I’m made up to have this opportunity by coming over to Colorado and join the Hailstorm,” said Fôn Williams. “A brand new team, it’s a blank canvas, and opportunity for us all to embrace and help build this football club along with everyone here in Northern Colorado to what we want it to look like. I’m very grateful of the opportunity given by Éamon to come here and share my experience with the team. Between Éamon and Kevin they’ve built a fantastic squad of players that’s really going to compete and give it their all this season. It’s a season of football everyone in Northern Colorado can be excited about.”
Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC will play its home matches in the 6,500-seat TicketSmarter Stadium at the Future Legends Complex, the premier destination for sports and events in Northern Colorado. Season ticket deposits are being taken now.
Opening in 2022, the 118-acre Future Legends Complex will feature two stadiums, multiple baseball diamonds and multi-purpose fields, an indoor sports arena, lodging, and retail; and will host guests for major sports tournaments, events, leagues, and more.