Former Keeper Happy To Be Away From Dario's Way
Former Crewe keeper Ben Williams is flying high in League One with Colchester United and says his career is getting off the ground again following his four years at Gresty Road.
Williams was number one choice for much of his time at the club, making over 130 appearances after signing on a free from Manchester United.
During his time at The Alex he experienced relegation from the Championship to League One and transformation from fan favourite to scape goat. By the end of his spell the relationship between a section of fans and Williams was strained to say the least.
He went on to sign for Carlisle in 2008 before joining Colchester this summer and it's a move, Williams says, that is like 'starting out for the third time in his career'.
Not looking back too fondly on his time with Crewe, Ben going as far to say that his time here was detrimental to his career. It's all to do with goalkeeping coaches, or lack of in our case. A goalkeeping coach was something Dario never bought into, a trend followed by successor Steve Holland.
Speaking to the eveningstar.co.uk website, Williams had some pretty straight views:
"I don't think Dario Gradi (former Crewe manager) believed in them, but I think this really affected me. I think having no goalkeeping coach for so long has been detrimental to my career.
"I don't think it's a surprise that no promising young keeper has ever come through the ranks at Crewe and gone on to big things, unlike the huge number of outfield players that have been produced by the club. I am now really starting out for the third time in my career.'
It's perhaps a complaint many Alex fans will agree with, one which was always brought up at fans forums during Dario and Steve Holland's reigns. Only recently did Gudjon Thordarson add a specialised keeper coach to the backroom staff at Gresty Road - not that we'd seen any major benefits.
Williams meanwhile didn't help his case as he concluded...
"But there is a good set-up here (Ademole Bankole as goalkeeping coach), and I enjoy training with Mark Cousins, who is a good young keeper,"
Ademole Bankole. Ah....