FORMER Athletic goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams is heading to the United States after agreeing a move to Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC.
The Welsh international cap, 35, has been hired as USL (United Soccer League) Ligue 1 new goalkeeping coach at the club, where he will join their head coach, Éamon Zayed, former team-mate of Crewe Alexandra.
Wales ➡️ English Championship ➡️ Scottish Championship ➡️ Northern Colorado, with plenty of experience in between.
Welcome Owain Fôn Williams as the new goalkeeping coach! His vast experience and knowledge will be an incredible addition to our team.#HailYeah
— Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC (@nocohailstormfc) April 15, 2022
A popular figure at the time with Pars, Fon Williams left East End at the end of February after his contract was canceled by mutual consent, with the club citing family reasons for his exit.
Having originally joined Hamilton Academical on loan in January 2020, Fon Williams agreed a permanent move to Dunfermline that summer, signing a two-year player/manager deal.
Talk to Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC websitehe said, “I’m preparing for this opportunity by coming to Colorado and joining the Hailstorm.
“A brand new team is a blank canvas and an opportunity for all of us to embrace and help build this football club with everyone here in northern Colorado to be what we want it to look like.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity given by Éamon to come here and share my experience with the team. Between Éamon and Kevin (Sawchak, assistant head coach), they have built a fantastic team of players who will really compete and giving is their all this season.
“This is a football season that everyone in Northern Colorado can be excited about.”
After leaving the club, Pars manager John Hughes said “there was a lump in my throat” when he announced Fon Williams’ departure from the team, and that he “cannot can’t say enough” about him.
During his time as a Pars player he made 62 appearances and raised £3,000 for the club off the pitch through a painting he created and auctioned off to help the fundraising campaign. ‘Support the Pars’ during lockdown two years ago.
Capped by his national team in a friendly with the Netherlands in 2015, Fon Williams was part of the Welsh squad at Euro 2016 which memorably reached the semi-finals, losing to eventual winners , Portugal.
Some of his previous clubs include Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Stockport County and Tranmere Rovers, as well as a loan spell with USL club Indy Eleven in 2018.
Zayed added: “Owain is one of my best signings. I know Owain from when we played and lived together years ago with Crewe Alexandra in the English Premier League. His experience is up there with any coach all over America.
“His knowledge of the game will not only help our goalkeepers develop, but also the whole squad and coaching staff.”
— Owain Fon Williams (@owainfon) April 16, 2022
Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC was formed last year and 2022 is the team’s inaugural season.