Dunfermline Athletic

Owain Fôn Williams holds the fort

Wednesday, 17th Mar 2021

“We are a very well organised team and because of that it gives us the opportunity to be where we are in the league.”

Harlech, Caernarfon, Caerphilly and Conwy, just four of around 600 castles in Wales but that’s not enough for Dunfermline’s Welsh goalkeeper, Owain Fôn Williams who spent his 34th birthday this week practicing the construction of fortifications in his back garden with his infant daughter. He said:-

“It was a lovely day for it. We have just got a sandpit for my little girl so she has been doing all sorts of sandcastles.”

Defences were clearly a national priority in his home country and no surprise then that he should be passing on the tradition. Very appropriate too, since Owain is the mainstay in what is the Scottish Championship’s most successful defence.

The Pars keeper was quick to point out that the success of that defensive record is a collective thing.

“It is a testimony to the whole team and the way we set out to play. Our shape without the ball, very solid and compact, makes it very difficult for the opposition to get goals against us. On that side of things we have been absolutely fantastic.

“It is really good from my point of view to have that but we have a tough month, a tough few weeks up to the end of the season now. We will make sure that we continue to do that, it is going to be vital to keep things going.”

Dunfermline’s challenge on Saturday was more than just the team lining up against them. The enforced break due to Covid-19 meant that there were weaknesses that no one wanted Gus Macpherson’s team to discover. Owain continued:-

“We knew that it was going to be a difficult game because, all credit to Greenock Morton, they are a tough side to play against. They put a lot of people behind the ball which makes it very difficult for us to play through them.

“We knew what they are going to be like before the game. It was just a matter of finding a way of winning the game, which we did. That is the most important thing, so we were absolutely delighted.

“It is a credit to the boys who had been away for a few days that they just came in with very little training under their belt and were able to perform the way they did.

“It just goes to show the type of people that we have got at this football club. No one is going to shy away from anything, we are all in it together win, lose or draw. No matter what we face, we will get through it together and that’s what we will do.

“Considering everything that we faced, we were absolutely delighted with the win and another three points on the board. We are a very well organised team and because of that it gives us the opportunity then to be where we are in the league.”

Since hitting second place on 24th October, Dunfermline have only on three occasions dropped to third and Owain believes that these consistent ratings merit the Pars a play off place but knows that will not come without having to fight off contenders:-

“It was nice to get the win and nice to get back into that second spot but the priority now is a place in the play offs. That’s got to be what we have got to have our eye on and make sure that we be there come the end of the season.”

Sometimes the Pars have remained in second place even in defeat due to others failing to take their opportunities but Owain points out that every team is going to hit a time where things are not fully going to go their way.

“Every single team has its ups and downs whether you are playing in our league or playing in the English Premiership. Teams hit a different spell at different periods but we have still managed to be second, third, second.

“Even though we have not been as consistent as we would have liked to have been. We have coped with it very well but the game on Saturday was obviously a big win for us to go back into that second spot. It makes the next few games very interesting to play in.”

Owain was delighted to see latest signing Vytas Gašpuitis come on for his debut against Morton on Saturday:-

“He is a big boy isn’t he? He is a tall strong centre half, we have trained with him for a couple of weeks now and he is adapting well. It was nice to have him on the pitch and see him on Saturday for the duration he came on. It will be good to see more of him.”

Settling in has proven to be tricky under the current covid restrictions confirmed our keeper:-

“We are up against something in terms of this virus that we are restricted to what we can and can’t do. This season, on one hand we are very lucky that we are able to play football, turn up to our job every single day and do something that we love which is playing football.

“On the other side, we miss the other side of our job which is the things that we are not allowed to do. Vytas has come here from another country and to settle in here normally it would have been easy for us to take him for a cup of coffee now and again after training, or go for a bite to eat with him. But it is very difficult under the circumstances, we can’t actually welcome someone new like we normally do.

“On a normal day we would be in a changing room. We would be sharing jokes, getting to know one another far better, easier and quicker than we are doing right now. It is a very difficult time for somebody new to come in and just settle in straight away.”

With six weeks of the league remaining and nine games ahead plus some Scottish Cup activities the manager has insisted that he will need to utilise his entire squad, so it is likely that Vytas Gašpuitis will become a familiar figure as the season goes on.

It is nevertheless a crazy season one such as no one has ever experienced before. Owain added:-

“We have got six weeks left, plenty of games and we are going to need absolutely everyone pulling together. It is very important now that we are all together driving towards that one thing and that is cementing a place in the play offs.”

Most of those Welsh castles occupied fiercely contested strategic locations and much bloodshed was spilled in securing their tenure. In the quest to hold second place then it is fortunate that Dunfermline have Owain Fôn Williams as their ‘King of the Castle’ guarding the door.”

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