A Coleg Menai sports student has fulfilled a lifelong ambition of playing for a professional football club, having recently signed for Swansea City as an apprentice footballer.
Caernarfon-born Cian Owain Williams began playing with his local club Cae Glyn United who, at the time, were managed by his father, Owain, the person who has inspired Cian throughout his career.
At the age of six, Cian moved to Bangor City’s academy before signing for Wrexham when he was 14 years old.
Whilst at Wrexham, Cian was selected to represent Wales U16 in the Victory Shield tournament in Ireland, and then helped Wales U17 qualify for the Elite rounds of the UEFA U17 Championships in March.
At 16 years and 149 days old, he became the second youngest player to appear for Wrexham when he came on as a second-half substitute in a cup match versus Ayr United.
But defender Cian also became the youngest Wrexham player to play at The Racecourse in a senior match, a record previously held by Robbie Evans.
Cian’s exploits for Wrexham and Wales instantly caught the eye of Swansea City’s recruitment team and, after a successful trial period, he was offered an 18-month contract by the Championship club.
Former Ysgol Syr Huw Owen pupil Cian, who lists former Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard as his playing idol, is thankful to the coaches who helped along his journey – Alwyn Jones (Bangor City) and Gareth Richards (Wrexham) – and one day wants to emulate his idol by playing Premier League football and representing his country at senior level.
“I have seen players moving from Wrexham – Neil Taylor, a fine example – playing at Swansea in the Premier League and being called up to the national squad. Hopefully that will be me one day,” he said.
Coleg Menai Academi co-ordinator and former professional footballer Marc Lloyd Williams is delighted to see Cian finally be rewarded for his efforts, saying: “He has worked hard over the past couple of years and fully deserves the opportunity. During his short time with us here, he was a conscientious young individual who took huge pride in both his football and academic work.
“Cian, who also played for the Grŵp Llandrillo Menai football team, was selected for both the Welsh Schools U18 & Welsh Colleges U19 squads whilst still a student at Coleg Menai, showing that there is a pathway for players who may be late developers.
“He has also shown that, if you work hard enough, you can combine your academic studies with aspiring to become a professional athlete.”
For more information on sports courses at Coleg Menai, visit http://www.gllm.ac.uk/sport.