Caernarfon Town defender Clive Williams is one of the most consistent players around, but unfortunately injury is holding him back at a time in his career where he should be performing at his peak.
Penygroes lad Clive made his senior debut for Bangor City at 17 and was part of the team which won the 2008-09 Welsh Cup, coming on as a second-half substitute. He was also in the squads which won the 2007-08 and 2009-10 finals.
And he was in the Bangor squad which lifted the Welsh Premier title in 2010-11 – the last team apart from TNS to achieve that feat – making four starts and featuring as a sub in 12 matches that season.
A product of the Bangor academy, he spent five seasons with the Citizens, taking the field in 47 Welsh Premier matches, before spending a season on loan at Porthmadog.
He joined Caernarfon Town in 2012/13 and has proved to be a versatile performer, effective in defence, midfield or up front.
Clive was part of Lee Dixon’s 2012-13 Welsh Alliance treble-winning squad which lifted the FAW Trophy, then later a key member of Canaries sides which twice won the Cymru Alliance.
Unfortunately, since Caernarfon’s return to the Welsh Premier, injury issues have restricted him to just nine league appearances so far – and none this season.
Grassroots North Wales is sure Town fans would like to know how the 29-year-old is progressing in his bid to return to action, so we asked him a few questions this week.
Grassroots North Wales
It’s been a while since we saw you on the football field, Clive. Can you tell us about your injury problem, how long it’s been troubling you, how you are progressing and when might we see you back in action?
The injury itself has been causing me problems for probably the last 3 seasons but it was one of them I just had to manage. Unfortunately it got worse during pre season back in the Welsh Prem. I managed to get myself fit for the first couple of games of the season but the injury was just getting worse so I had to make the decision to stop playing and get it sorted.
I finally got under the knife last October but unfortunately it did not go as well as i hoped.
You played a major role in Caernarfon Town winning the Cymru Alliance in 2017-18, but your involvement in the club’s Welsh Premier return has been limited. How frustrating has that been, not being involved?
It’s been very frustrating, it was always my ambition to get back into the Welsh Prem from the day i left Bangor, then finally on and off the pitch we managed to do it together in 2018 and got the club back to were they belonged.
How do you feel Caernarfon have adjusted back to life in the Welsh Premier? Last season – their first in the top league in 10 years – and this season also, they have clinched top six places. Do you feel they have done well on their return to the WPL?
To be honest it was never in doubt for me that we could adjust to playing in the Welsh Prem so it didn’t come as a surprise to me when we or should I say the boys 😂 held their own back in the top flight, and went as far as they did to compete for that European spot. On a personal note I was so glad that the team was doing so well as it was still keeping my ambition to be back playing in the WPL alive.
Are you confident Caernarfon can reach their first-ever Welsh Cup final (if the competition is able to continue of course)?
With the majority of the squad being in this position before back in 2017, they will all know what it all about and what it will take to succeed. With the Cofi Army out in force on Welsh Cup days, I’ve no doubt that the club can make it to their first final.
Looking back to your days with Bangor City, you won Welsh Cup winners’ medals at a very young age, as well as the Welsh Premier League title. How special were those times for you?
It was a very special time for me in my football career. They say that you need a bit of luck in football sometimes to achieve the things you do and luckily for me Nev Powell came to the club when he did and that he had the belief in me at such a young age to be part of his squad and able to achieve what I did.
You were very young when you had your first taste of the Welsh Premier. How do you feel you coped? When you are fit enough to return, do you think you will be better equipped this time around?
Getting my Welsh Prem debut at 17, at the time probably I felt i was doing ok but today looking back I knew I had so much to learn and probably that is why it’s so frustrating and disappointing for myself that I’ve not able to use the knowledge and experience I’ve gained over the years to prove myself back in the Welsh Premier.
Much is spoken about Caernarfon Town being a great community club. Do you feel this is a major strength for the club, it’s connection with the fans?
Being a local lad I just know how important the community is to the club and how important the club is to the community too. I’ve been very lucky to experience this bond on and off the pitch so I know that being such a great community club has helped in the success of the club in the past few years and is definitely the major strength of the club.
Finally, what are your future career ambitions? Is there anything you’d still like to achieve?
Well unfortunately due to my injury and the operation not being a success, I won’t be able to return to my playing career at the age of 28. It was very hard for me to come to terms with this news, I was looking forward to being back in the Welsh Prem, hoping to push myself for that Welsh C team, but all in all I’ve achieved a lot in the game over the years. I’m currently taking the time to adjust but hoping to be back in the game in the near future.