Blaenrhondda manager Liam Williams says benefitting from experience at Cambrian
They were only promoted from the Rhondda League this year but already Blaenrhondda are making a statement in the South Wales Alliance League this season.
Currently sitting top of Division Two are the Division new boys after winning promotion via the play-offs last season, following their convincing title win in the Rhondda Leagues.
And now under new management following the appointment of Liam Williams, the club have worked hard over the course of the summer to help consolidate their place in the division.
The former Cambrian coach has used his contacts to his advantage in bringing in some household names in the Rhondda area.
Names such as Dorian Sweet who scored over 250 goals for Ton & Gelli over the years and ex Cambrian & Clydach duo Jamie Crisp and Kristoffer Rees have helped equip the Blaenrhondda manager with a competitive squad.
Despite the good early start though, the young coach isn’t getting carried away just yet but has stated how he’s enjoying the transition from coaching to first team management.
“The players have been excellent so far this season, applying themselves well to both training and games. But this doesn’t surprise me with the quality we have in the squad. The biggest test is maintaining these standards for the whole season.
It’s obviously still early days yet, but it’s gone well this far. It certainly has different challenges to coaching but they’ve been challenges I’ve enjoyed.”
The former defender is currently studying for the UEFA A-Licence qualification, which would allow holders to coach youths up 18, reserve teams and professional second-tier clubs in the whole of Europe.
When asked what the ambitions are of studying the qualification, Williams replied with wanting to manage at the highest level possible. There’s also no specific managerial style that Liam has adopted, instead focusing on working with players in making them feel welcome when players.
“I’d like to manage at the highest level I possibly can, I will keep trying to improve both my management and coaching and see where it takes me.
“I don’t really think about that, we just try to form good relationships with the players and create a professional environment where players enjoy and perform, then hopefully with performances results will follow.”
On his way to studying the qualification, he has worked with Cambrian & Clydach Vale of the Welsh League, after coming through the youth system, impressing in the reserve side.
And during his time King George’s New Field, he’s picked up some vital experience from former Cambrian manager Jarred Harvey who has since moved on to work with Cardiff City, as well as benefiting from working with the current Cambrian boss Craig Hughes, who had a strong playing career in the Welsh pyramid system.
“I try to take snippets from some of the better coaches/managers I’ve played for and worked with. I learned a lot from Jarred Harvey during his time at Cambrian, he was a good manger and exceptional on the training ground.
I also enjoyed working under Craig Hughes last year who is an excellent man manager who demands professionalism and hard work from his players.”
After winning promotion from the Rhondda Leagues, there has been some added quality equipped to dealing with the demands of a higher division.
“We’ve brought in some good players, in areas that we felt needed improvement. The players took some persuading to make the move but they can see what the club is trying to achieve and the squad that was already here make it an exciting proposition!
The players have been excellent so far this season, applying themselves well to both training and games. But this doesn’t surprise me with the quality we have in the squad. The biggest test is maintaining these standards for the whole season.”
(Featured Image: William Cheshire)