A CAERNARFON-BORN footballer has been signed by Championship club Swansea City as an apprentice.

Former Coleg Menai sports student Cian Owain Williams began his career with local club Cae Glyn United that, at the time, was managed by his father, Owain.

At the age of six, he moved to Bangor City’s academy before signing for Wrexham when he was 14 years old.

Whilst at Wrexham, Cian was selected to represent Wales U16 in the Victory Shield tournament in Ireland, and then helped Wales U17 qualify for the Elite rounds of the UEFA U17 Championships in March.

At 16 years and 149 days old, he became the second youngest player to appear for Wrexham when he came on as a second-half substitute in a cup match versus Ayr United, but the defender also became the youngest Wrexham player to play at The Racecourse in a senior match, beating a record previously held by Robbie Evans.

Cian’s exploits for Wrexham and Wales instantly caught the eye of Swansea City’s recruitment team and, after a successful trial period, he was offered an 18-month contract.

The former Ysgol Syr Huw Owen pupil, who hails former Liverpool player Steven Gerrard as his playing idol, is thankful to the coaches who helped him on his journey - Alwyn Jones of Bangor City and Gareth Richards of Wrexham - and one day wants to emulate his idol by playing Premier League football and representing his country at senior level.

“I have seen players moving from Wrexham - Neil Taylor, a fine example - playing at Swansea in the Premier League and being called up to the national squad. Hopefully, that will be me one day,” he said.

Coleg Menai Academi Coordinator and former professional footballer Marc Lloyd Williams was delighted to see Cian finally rewarded for his efforts, saying: “He has worked hard over the past couple of years and fully deserves the opportunity. During his short time with us here, he was a conscientious young individual who took huge pride in both his football and academic work.”

“Cian, who also played for the Grŵp Llandrillo Menai football team, was selected for both the Welsh Schools U18 & Welsh Colleges U19 squads whilst still a student at Coleg Menai, showing that there is a pathway for players who may be late developers.

“He has also shown that, if you work hard enough, you can combine your academic studies with aspiring to become a professional athlete.”