Following last night’s Sacramento Republic FC 5-0 victory against the CD Aguiluchos USA — as part of the second round of the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup — Sports Glutton had a chance to spend a few minutes with 20 year-old Republic FC forward Harry Williams after the match to talk about soccer, his move to Sacramento from England and what Republic fans can expect from the former Cheltenham Town FC standout this season.
Harry, you’re 5211 miles or 8386 kilometers from your birthplace of Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England. Can you walk me through how you landed with Sacramento Republic FC and why you wanted to play in Sacramento?
Basically, [Paul Buckle] asked me if I would be interested in coming here. I had a good talk with him and a long chat with my family as well to make sure it would be the right move for me football-wise. The club itself when I got here…it’s a great city and definitely excited for the MLS and is somewhere I think I can develop as a player and help the club develop as well.
Talk about your time with Cheltenham Town FC. I believe you started in U9s in their academy. Was it difficult to leave? How did it prepare you for where you are today?
Yeah, it was difficult to leave…I made a lot of friends while with the Club, got friends that still play and work at the Club, so yeah it was difficult to leave, but I know that it was the right move for me and my football career. Time will tell, but at the moment, I’m just loving and enjoying playing football and the great supporters we have here.
What has been the hardest adjustment as a player coming over to U.S.? Is it what you expected?
A little bit I guess. I spoke with [Buckle] before I came out here and he told me what to expect, but it’s probably the weather I have to get use to…the climate is not the same. That’s probably the hardest adjustment, but also leaving family. It’s my first time away from home, so that’s been a big adjustment outside of football.
You’ve had a chance to play significant minutes over the last 3-4 matches and you put your first USL goal in a few weeks ago against LA Galaxy II. Do you feel like you’re getting into a rhythm now? Are you where you want to be?
Yeah, I mean, at the start of the season, I was out the first couple of games with injuries, but since I’ve come in I think I’ve performed well and obviously scored the goal as well, and hopefully can keep on from here. The last three results we’ve won, so hopefully we can carry that on and I can carry on my performances as well.
Do you think you can be the striker that the Republic FC need? Do you think you can step into that role?
I wouldn’t put all the emphasis on me. I mean, we have other strikers on the Club that are top-class as well, but yeah, I think that I can definitely put some goals in the back of the net and contribute to the team getting goals.
How would you assess where the club is right now because it seems that there is greater familiarity or trust out on the pitch over the last few matches.
Obviously, there is quite a few new faces on the squad from last season, but I think we’re playing well and creating chances….[we] just need the confidence to stick it in the back of the net and the last three games we’ve scored nine goals, so hopefully that will give us confidence in the next couple of games and can carry on.
Any thoughts on playing Liverpool U21 FC this Saturday? Does that hold any special meaning for you?
Yeah, Liverpool is a big Club no matter if it’s the 21s or the first team, and I have a couple of friends there that I believe will be coming over, [including] one who is on loan from Chetlanham, so it will be good to see them and play up against them and see where we are.
We’d like to thank Harry for taking some time out to talk with us. You can follow Harry on Twitter at @HJRW_ and his 2016 campaign here at Sports Glutton. As mentioned, the Republic FC are back in action this Saturday against Liverpool FC U21s.
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