OWAIN FON WILLIAMS is excited by the prospect of adding international recognition this week to his table topping start to the season with Tranmere.
The Rovers goalkeeper, preparing for a World Cup qualifying double-header with the Wales squad this week, is in line to win his first full cap against Scotland in Cardiff on Friday.
Fon Williams said: “This week is a great opportunity for me. I’m hoping I’m going to play because ever since I was a young boy, growing up in North Wales, I wanted to play for my country. It will be a massive thing for me if I do.”
Wales manager Chris Coleman has selected Fon Williams in his squad on several occasions over recent months. However, Coleman’s first and second choices, Wayne Hennessey and Boaz Myhill, are ruled out by injuries this time.
Of the three goalkeepers selected for the games against Scotland and away to Croatia next Tuesday, Fon Williams has the advantage of playing regular first-team football over Jason Brown of Aberdeen and Lewis Price of Crystal Palace.
Coleman will also consider Fon Williams’ impressive form with Tranmere this season. The 25-year-old has conceded just six goals in 11 unbeaten League One games and kept six clean sheets along the way.
Fon Williams said: “I’m working very hard on my game every day with Tranmere. Dave Timmins, the goalkeeper coach, is a big part of it. He’s always on my back, pushing me on. It’s the same with the gaffer and (coach) John McMahon.
“It’s not just about saving the shots and being in the right position. It’s about how you control the stuff in front of you so that maybe you don’t have to make a save.
“I’m really enjoying my football at the moment and who wouldn’t when you are top of the league.”
Fon Williams’ only regret about the Wales call-up is missing Tranmere’s League One encounter with Yeovil Town at Prenton Park on Saturday.
Moore says he plans to ask Coleman to consider releasing Fon Williams for duty with Tranmere on Saturday if the goalkeeper is required only as a substitute against the Scots. He accepts such an arrangement would be impossible if Fon Williams plays.
Fon Williams admitted: “I would do anything for the Yeovil game to be called off so I don’t have to miss it!
“It is never nice to miss games, in fact I hate it. I would do anything to help us call it off but that’s out of my hands.”
Fon Williams’ likely absence this weekend should provide a first League One opportunity for Jason Mooney, the towering goalkeeper from Northern Ireland who has provided cover since signing a one-year contract in the summer.
Mooney can look forward to stepping into a side that held onto a four-point lead at the top of the division following a 1-0 win at Notts County last Saturday.
Tranmere controlled the play to such an extent at Meadow Lane that Fon Williams did not have a difficult save to make during the 90 minutes.
Fon Williams said: “As a team we defend from the front. It’s not just the back four who are doing well. We are defending and playing as a team magnificently at the moment. We are top of the league for a reason.
“Everyone looks comfortable and confident. We are playing on a high.”
Fon Williams believed Tranmere showed their strength and resolve last week in picking up away wins at Scunthorpe on Notts County from games in which they lost influential players Andy Robinson and Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro to injuries.
“When you lose players of the calibre of Andy and Jean- Louis, you think to yourself that we might struggle. But Adam McGurk came into the side and was superb in Andy Robinson’s role at Scunthorpe and as a centre forward last Saturday.
“The support has been tremendous too. Home and away it makes a difference when you have got that kind of backing from the fans.”
Meanwhile Tranmere are ready to move back into the loan market in search of a striker, as they face up to losing Akpa Akpro for three months.
Rovers heard confirmation on Monday evening that Akpa Akpro, in prime form with seven goals to his name this season, suffered a broken metatarsal when he pulled up sharply after 17 minutes of the game at Notts County.
Moore anticipated the results of an x-ray would confirm the fears of physiotherapist Greg Blundell and says he will be on the phone to chairman Peter Johnson to talk about the prospect of reinforcing his table topping squad with another front player.
Moore said: “We were just desperate that Jean-Louis was going to be okay but the signs were never encouraging. It is confirmed he’s damaged the fifth metatarsal in his foot, which will be a three-month job.
“We will have it pinned right away and we will be looking at whether we can bring in another striker.”
Moore says Rovers may look beyond the ranks of young prospects from the top two divisions. He added: “We have a list of youngsters we are interested in but we’re also trying to put together a list of players with a bit of experience, just to see if the chairman might let us pick one of those.
“When you’re top of the league, the better players who are not getting games with Premier League and Championship teams are more inclined to come down to a club like Tranmere. They think it might be good for them.”
Moore is encouraged by the progress of Andy Robinson, who suffered a hamstring injury in the 3-1 win at Scunthorpe last Tuesday.
He said: “Andy has an outside chance of being ready for a home game against Yeovil on Saturday. Failing that he will certainly be ready for the game at Bournemouth the following weekend.”