The new president of the Football Association of Wales (FAW), Stephen Williams, took up his post this week.
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Williams, who is 57, was elected to the position for a four-year term at the FAW’s Council meeting in June. “I'm immensely proud,” he said. “From a personal point of view, I'm absolutely delighted.”
Raised in the Wrexham area in North Wales, Williams takes the helm at a time of progress for the Welsh game, with the national team having participated in two successive UEFA EURO final tournaments. “I think we have exciting times ahead of us,” he reflected. “As a nation, now people talk about Wales, and I want to take that to that next level.”
The new FAW president said that priority targets would be to strengthen the grassroots game, nurture Welsh youth and women’s football, foster all areas of Wales’ domestic football and help club teams enhance their performance in European competitions. “We've got quite a few challenges ahead, both at international level and in the domestic game,” Williams said. “The more that we can achieve at senior level, the more that we can invest at a lower level.”
Raising Wales’ profile
Continued participation in major international tournaments is another prime objective. “The World Cup in 2022 is the next tournament for us,” Williams added. “We all want to get there, as I want to see us qualifying regularly for major tournaments. We need to make sure now that we're involved in these finals, because that will keep increasing our profile [and enable us to] reinvest in our infrastructure. The same applies to the women's game, as that is developing at pace.”
In his professional career, Williams worked his way up to a senior manager’s position in the aerospace industry. A member of the FAW Council since 1997, and a former chairman of the association’s international committee, he has channelled his love of football into a variety of roles, earning particular respect for his dedication to the domestic game.
He was also instrumental in the development and construction of the FAW’s Colliers Park training and development centre near Wrexham.