How the Wales players enjoyed their nation falling in love with football
5 September 2016

How the Wales players enjoyed their nation falling in love with football

Here's how the players felt the buzz back home during Euro 2016



Wales became obsessed with football during four unforgettable weeks which saw the national team make history by making the semi-final of Euro 2016.

A nation collectively cried as the dream concluded on a balmy July night in Lyon.

But as Wales went down to a Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Portugal, pride was the overwhelming emotion as millions of new fans allowed football into their hearts - many for the first time.

What was it like for the players and did they know how important their efforts were to the national psyche?

Here goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams tells how the players were kept in touch with the wave of football fever building up back home...



"We were away for a long time in France but we were well aware of all the support back home. We could sense that and feel that.

"Whenever I called my family I could feel it in their voices. Everybody was so hyped up and everybody was right behind us.

"I have always said that if I wasn’t lucky enough to be in the national squad I would be in the stands supporting the team.

"Inside the stadiums in France, the atmosphere was special.

"We could feel that in the camp every time we got to a stadium.

"As early as the first game in Bordeaux we were aware of the sea of red and it felt like half of Wales down in the south of France.

"We went for a walk and it was like the sea of red opening up. That will live with us forever but back home we know it was exactly the same."



Now the question comes to how Chris Coleman and his men keep the football feel-good factor alive and inspire the next generation of football heroes to take up the game this season.

Ahead of Wales' World Cup 2018 qualifying opener against Moldova, Williams said: "All the hard work everybody does day-to-day and what we do on the pitch.

"We’ve got the support from all parts of Wales and everybody wants to cheer the team on.

"It would be great to make qualification a habit.

"That would be a fantastic achievement and that's what we're all aiming to do."

The summer football stole the hearts of the Welsh nation - View from inside the Wales camp
The summer football stole the hearts of the Welsh nation - View from inside the Wales camp