Oct 4 2013 by Nick Hilton, Wirral Echo
OWAIN FON WILLIAMS has every confidence in Sam Ramsbottom’s ability to provide first-team goalkeeping back-up for Tranmere over the coming months.
The 17-year-old from Greasby on the Wirral has been promoted to the subs bench because number two Jason Mooney faces four to six weeks on the sidelines with a cartilage injury.
Ramsbottom, a scholar who has graduated through Tranmere’s youth development set-up, is yet to taste senior action but trains every day with No1 Fon Williams, Mooney and goalkeeper coach Dave Timmins.
Fon Williams said: “Sam is a very good goalkeeper. I have seen him coming through since he was 16. In his first six months he went from strength to strength and he’s kept the momentum going.
“I think he is going to be a very good goalkeeper one-day. He is working very hard with Dave Timmins.”
Manager Ronnie Moore is equally positive about handing the six-foot-five teenager the responsibility of deputising for Fon Williams.
He said: “I don’t see any reason to bring another goalkeeper in. Sam has worked with Dave Timmins and the other goalkeepers. He knows what is required and is a good prospect. He’s a big lad and he kicks the ball well.
“Of course it would be a nervous time if he is called into first-team action, nervous for him and nervous for us because you don’t know what you are going to get until you throw them in. You only find out when it happens.”
For Williams, who missed the goalless draw with Stevenage last month while on international duty for Wales, could well find himself called up for the World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia in Cardiff on Friday, October 11 and against Belgium in Brussels on Tuesday, October 15.
Moore hopes Wales manager Chris Coleman will be flexible in allowing Fon Williams to play in Tranmere’s League One game at Bradford City on Sunday, October 13, which falls between the two international matches.
“Hopefully Chris will allow Fonners to play for us on the Sunday and then return to the Wales squad after that,” Moore said.
For Williams’ heroics were not quite enough to prevent Tranmere sliding to a third home defeat of the League One campaign at Port Vale’s hands last Saturday.
The Welshman made an exceptional save to keep out a 32nd minute penalty from Tom Pope but could do nothing about Chris Lines’ 55th minute winner from a precise free kick. “We could not have stopped that one with three goalkeepers,” Moore said.
Fon Williams concedes frequent changes to the defence in front of him are not helping to keep the goals against figures down.
He said: “We have been conceding too many goals but we have not had a settled back four all season. We had that last season and you get a bond developing between players.”
Tranmere’s fixture at Swindon Town tomorrow takes Fon Williams back to the ground where he conceded five goals in a pre-Christmas game last season.
“That wasn’t a good night for us although I remember playing alright myself,” Fon Williams recalled.