Crewe hopeful over keeper
Steve Holland "remains hopeful" that the lure of first-team football will be enough to keep Owain fon Williams at Crewe.
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 13/05/08 10:30am
Crewe first-team coach Steve Holland "remains hopeful" that the lure of first-team football will be enough to keep Owain fon Williams at the club.
The out-of-contract Wales Under-21 goalkeeper has been linked with a summer move to a Premier League or Championship club, although Holland insists there has been no contact from anyone.
"Owain has not signed a new contract but we remain hopeful that he will," said Holland.
"The attraction of being our number one keeper in League One and playing regularly as a 21-year-old would be a good experience for him.
"He has received some exposure with the Welsh Under-21's and perhaps he has been advised that his future lies elsewhere.
"Saying that we have no contact from anyone regarding Owain and there would be a compensation fee involved anyhow because he is under 24.
"We hope that the attraction of being our first-choice keeper would be an exciting challenge for him but outside influences are part and parcel of the game now and it is something you have to deal with. We had the same scenario with Billy Jones last season."
One player who will not be staying at the club is midfielder Eugen Bopp, who is free to leave if the right offer comes along.
The former Rotherham man has found first-team opportunities hard to come by at Gresty Road this season and Holland has already allowed the German to play in trial matches in Scotland and Ukraine to find a new club.
"Talks have been ongoing with Eugen for a while and we have made it clear where we stand with him," he said.
"He has been fine. Eugen is a good professional and just wants to play football. That is something we haven't been able to offer him this season.
"We have given him an opportunity for other clubs to have a look at him and there is a possibility that a team in Cyprus could be interested. I'm sure as the summer progresses we will see what Eugen wants to do."
Meanwhile, Holland has handed out professional deals to six of the club's academy players.
Luke Danville, Luke Murphy, Ashley Westwood, Chris Clements, Josh Thompson and AJ Leitch-Smith have all signed deals.
Holland had earlier released Ryan Lynch, Mat Bailey, Junior Brown and Nick Farquharson.