Iwan Williams could hardly have experienced a more exciting start to life at new club Chester FC.
The former Bangor 1876 director of football left Wales a fortnight ago to join Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson’s management team at the National League North outfit.
And it’s so far, so very good, with Chester having won four out of four and progressing through two rounds of the FA Cup.
In yesterday’s fourth qualifying round draw, the Blues landed a home tie against Marine of the Northern Premier League North West Division – two levels below.
Chester must have a great chance of advancing to the first round proper of the world’s most famous club knockout competition when they welcome the Merseysiders on October 24.
For Iwan, it is a dream come true as one of his chief reasons for wanting to test his skills in the English pyramid was the chance of a run in the FA Cup.
The 35-year-old from Penrhyndeudraeth, who lives on Anglesey, formerly managed Caernarfon Town and Llandudno, as well as jointly leading Ynys Mon to the gold medal in the 2019 Inter-Island Games.
As a player, he turned out for Porthmadog, Newtown, Connah’s Quay Nomads, Llanfairpwll and Caersws, having spent his early career at Wrexham before a spell in America.
The latest string to his bow was attaining his UEFA Pro Licence and he is also now a qualified Premier League academy scout.
With so little football being played in Wales due to Covid-19, Williams decided it was time to try his luck in England and his early days at Chester have been thrilling to say the least.
It began with a storming FA Cup second qualifying round tussle at Worksop Town on October 3. Chester trailed 2-0 until the closing minutes, but a Danny Livesey double forced extra time, which was scoreless. Penalties were needed and Chester triumphed 5-3.
A 2-1 league victory at Kidderminster Harriers followed three days later, then on October 10, Iwan’s first home game delivered a 3-2 NLN triumph over Leamington at the Swansway Chester Stadium.
The blues made it four wins in 10 scintillating days as they saw off Spennymoor Town 3-1 in the FA Cup on Tuesday of this week.
Spennymoor will be the opponents again in the league this Saturday – away on this occasion – then comes the FA Cup contest with Marine.
Chester are currently second in National League North, behind only Gloucester City on goal difference, although just two rounds of matches have been played.
Iwan is certainly enjoying his football at Chester.
“We are flying!,” he said. “I’m really enjoying it, great experience thus far!”