Former W Connection goalkeeper and the 2006 Pro League Player of the Year Jan-Michael Williams has signed a 1+1 year contract with Ferencvárosi Torna Club of Hungary. The club current occupies the NB II (Eastern Group) and was founded in 1899 by Ferenc Springer and a group of local residents of Budapest's ninth district, Ferencváros. The green-and-white wearing squad is, of all Hungarian clubs, by far the most celebrated, most dominating, most well-known internationally.
In total, Ferencváros has 28 championships, 26 Hungarian Cups, one UEFA cup runner-up standing and one UEFA title. Ferencváros turned in the top performance by a Hungarian club ever in the 1995 Champions League. Approximately US $2.44 million came to Ferencváros. As for Williams who had not seen regular club football since 2007 will be a relieve man to have finally gotten a contract and a chance to get his professional career back on track. Williams was also on a short-term contract with White Star Woluwé F.C with moreorless the same intentions of Downing and Bartholomew, obtaining a European passports in order to land a contact in the U.K with linked club Sheffield United. Ironically in 2007 it was another Hungarian club Ujpest FC former club of Densill Theobald who had offered the former St Anthony’s College player a deal but requested time to make a decision due to a Sheffield United trial. Williams also had trials with Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers in 2003 alongside Kenwyne Jones and training stints at English clubs Derby County and Charlton Athletic as well as joined Avery John's former Irish club Bohemians on a tour in Spain but all proved fruitless. Now Williams will head back to basically where his European success started off to kick-start his long term desire to play in Europe.
But Jan will definitely feel right at home at Ferencvárosi as the club has also signed fellow T&T nationals Matthew Bartholomew and Aaron Downing for the up-coming season, the former W Connection duo had been running out with Belgium's outfit White Star Woluwé F.C. for the 2007/2008 season. Both was signed by English club Sheffield United in 2007 and was loan to Belgium Third Division team White Star Woluwé F.C in an attempt for them to obtain their European passports. That would subsequently enable them to join the English professional ranks. As for W Connection they will no doubt be one of T&T's most successful clubs when it comes to exporting of players from William De Silva Oliveira (Chicago Fire), Kenwyne Jones (Sunderland), Andrei Pacheo (Colombus Crew), Andre Toussaint (Charleston Battery), Silvio Spann (Wrexham), Renato Periera (Degerfors IF), Ronaldo Viana (FC Zeleznik) and Gefferson Goulart (Buscan Park) to name a few has all been exported to foreign clubs and has shown how many talent play right here in our very own T&T Pro League.
Williams readies himself for Hungary stint.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).
Goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams is getting ready for a season of Second Division football in Hungary. Following two weeks of preseason training with English club Sheffield United, the former St Anthony’s College goalie decided to take up a one-year deal with Ferencvaros FC, a club which Sheffield recently took over with the aim of guiding them to the First Division and establishing a feeder system. The former W Connection custodian completed two weeks of preseason training with Sheffield before being sent to Hungary.
“I did the two weeks of preseason at Sheffield and things were looking up. They were on the verge of signing me. I made the necessary appearances to get the work permit but then there was another block. Unfortunately we (Trinidad and Tobago) are currently out of the top 100 on the world rankings and this prevented me from getting the permit to play in England. It was disappointing but I’m confident we will soon be out of that and Sheffield will try to get me again in six months or so,” Williams told TTFF Media.
“Sheffield have also maintained interest in me and a deal is almost guaranteed subject to a work permit in the near future. I've settled really well and my first outing was against Sheffield in a pre-season game last Monday which we narrowly lost 3-2 after having two attempts cleared off the Sheffield goal line in the last few minutes,” Williams continued.
He added there was a lot of interest in his new club with huge turn outs by the fans for the preseason matches thus far. T&T teammates Aaron Downing and Matthew Bartholomew are also at the club trying to get the necessary playing time which could see them make the switch to England as well. Williams, anxious to wear T&T colours again, said he’s been following the action back home with keen interest.
“I have also been looking at the progress the national team has been making and I think it can only be a plus with the players who have been recalled. I’ve also followed the progress of Marvin (Phillip) and he’s had some great performances in goal in the recent matches. This shows that you can develop and turn your game up a notch once you put your mind to it, even if you are from the Pro League (in T&T). Marvin has definitely shown this and I hope a lot of the players can follow by example,” Williams concluded.