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NEWS STORY: ADAM OWEN

 

As long as I'm needed, I'll always be there.

Adam Owen still committed to Wales fitness role despite being full time manager in Polish top flight. The Welshman at the helm of one of Poland's biggest football clubs insists he remains committed to his job as the Wales national team fitness coach, if Ryan Giggs chooses to keep him on.

For the last seven years, Adam Owen, from Wrexham, has been a fixture of Wales' backroom staff as fitness coach under Gary Speed and Chris Coleman. However, since Coleman stepped down as manager, Owen has become a number one in his own right, having been promoted from assistant manager to manager of Polish Ekstraklasa side, Lechia Gdańsk, last September, following the dismissal of Piotr Nowak.

Despite his full-time allegiance to the Polish club, who play their home games at the impressive 42,000-capacity Stadion Energa Gdańsk, Owen insists he is happy to continue his role within the Welsh setup.

Former Wrexham, Celtic, Rangers and Servette coach Owen was speaking in an interview with former Swansea City and Wales midfielder Owain Tudur Jones, for S4C's Mwy o Sgorio, which will be shown at 6.30pm on Wednesday evening, or on demand at s4c.cymru.

"I've been the fitness coach for seven years with the senior national team, and it's been really great. As long as I'm needed and wanted, for me to be involved with my country's national team is a fantastic thing for me personally. I'm very honoured and proud to do that and as long as I'm needed, I'll always be there." - Adam Owen

In a playing career that started out at Wrexham, Owen went on to feature for Welsh Premier League sides Newtown, Cefn Druids and Connah's Quay, while also featuring for East Stirlinghsire.  He admits he still has to pinch himself at the thought of managing a club the size of Lechia.

"It's been a long journey. I left Wrexham many years ago to move up to Scotland, when I joined Celtic as a coach. Since then I've moved to England, back to Scotland, France, Switzerland and now I've landed myself here, so it's been a long journey but one that's been really exciting. I do pinch myself in some respects, seeing where it's led me and my family now. It certainly felt at the time I got the opportunity that it was a natural progression for me. I don't know if you're ever ready to manage but I thought it's now or never and it's a good time. The difference from being an assistant coach to being the coach, making all the decisions that everyone is scrutinising on the television. Every decision is analysed and scrutinised to the 'n'th degree, so it's nice to go home and be able to take your mind off things."
- Adam Owen.

With Lechia currently lying in 12th place in the Ekstraklasa, Owen insists he is fully aware of the pressure to turn the club's fortunes around.

"With a stadium like this and the city as it is, the president is trying to do the right things. We're trying to build the infrastructure within the club properly and take it to a level where it can compete year in, year out for European competition. I think when you've got the stadium that we have, that it's important that we're competing for trophies and competing for an awful lot of success. As a head coach, you're always judged on success through results on the pitch and that's what it comes down to. You need the results on the pitch to stay in a job." - Adam Owen.

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Posted: Wednesday 28th February 2018
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