If today’s various media reports and football news websites are anything to go by then former Nottingham Forest caretaker manager, Paul Williams, is set to join Bob Bradley’s coaching staff at the club’s Fairwood training base.
Although no official announcement has yet to be made, the appointment is likely to be as assistant to Bradley, whom has been seeking a sidekick since taking over the Liberty Stadium hotseat from Francesco Guidolin.
Edit: The club officially confirmed his appointment at 10:30am on November 16th.
When announced, he will be the second addition to Bradley’s coaching team, following on from Pierre Barrieu whom came from Le Havre, where he was assistant to Bradley.
Some of you may well remember Williams from his playing days with Coventry City and Southampton.
The tough tackling midfielder turned centre-back hung up his boots in 2005 having made over 200 appearances in the Premier League.
Williams started off his coaching career in 2006 with (now folded) USL Premier Development League (4th tier) side Fredericksburg Gunners, having previously played in the USA for the Richmond Kickers – whom the Swans played in a pre-season friendly in July this year.
He is probably best known for his work with the Southampton academy, where he helped develop the future of potential England internationals Luke Shaw and Callum Chambers.
Although he made the headlines in 2014 for all the wrong reasons, when he and fellow acaademy coach Jason Dodd, were controversially sacked by the Saints for allegedly “not spending enough time with the under 16’s academy side”.
He then spent a year in non-league football before joining Brentford as assistant head coach. Seven months later he joined fellow Championship side Nottingham Forest as a coach.
After the sacking of Nottingham Forest manager Dougie Freedman in March this year, 45 year old Williams was put in temporary charge, but was relieved of his duties in May by the club’s new owners, having won only 2 of his 10 games in charge.
Following his departure from the City Ground, Williams has been working as England under-20s interim coach in the short-term absence of Gareth Southgate and Aidy Boothroyd. The English FA have apparently already given their blessing for Williams to return to coaching duties at club level.
Those of you who use the business networking tool LinkedIn, may want to see Williams’ footballing CV in his own words.
There is no doubting Williams’ coaching experience at academy level, but his appointment is surely somewhat of a surprise given the Swans current predicament and the alarming lack of Premier League experience on the club’s coaching staff, aside from Alan Curtis of course.
Whether or not his role will affect that of Curt’s remains to be seen but the appointment is hardly, in my opinion, an inpired choice as assistant for Bob Bradley.
That said, I sincerely hope that Paul Williams goes on to prove me wrong and helps ensure the Swans remain a Premier League team and for that reason alone I, like the rest of the Jack Army, will no doubt wish him well.