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Ash interview

Lovely interview here with Ashley Williams.

Unsurprisingly names Leon as one of the three best players he ever played with. Not hard to see why, in 8 years he never got so much as one bum pass off him, and he was always available to pass to.

My God, how we could do with a prime Leon Britton in our current side. Think of the difference he would make.

Ashley Williams’ sadness over Swansea City exit, lack of answers over Wales snub and the three best stars he’s played with

The former Wales and Swansea City captain has been looking back on his career, having recently announced his retirement from professional football

Former Wales captain Ashley Williams has revealed that leaving Swansea City was one of the most difficult moments of his career and admits he was disappointed at being overlooked by Wales boss Ryan Giggs.

Williams, who won 86 caps for his country, announced his retirement from professional football back in January, after being released by Bristol City at the end of last season.

He will forever go down as one of the country's greatest-ever captains, after leading Wales to a magical semi-final at Euro 2016, but fell out of favour under Giggs.

Despite remaining skipper throughout the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign, his last international appearance was back in June 2019 - a 1-0 defeat away to Hungary.

And, speaking to S4C’s Mwy o Sgorio, Williams admits he was disappointed at the way his international career ended, adding that he never really received an explanation as to why he wasn't playing.

"The last campaign with Wales was disappointing for me, personally," he said.

"I felt like I should have been playing and I wasn’t. That’s nothing against the boys that did play. I’d played the most minutes out of all the centre-halves and I wasn’t getting any answers as to why I wasn’t playing so it was tough.

"I still felt like a big part of the group, I was still captain."

Williams remains a big favourite with Wales fans, and is also fondly remembered by members of the Jack Army following a hugely successful eight-year spell at the Liberty Stadium.

The feeling is clearly mutual, with the centre-back admitting that his £12m move to Everton in 2016 remains one of the most difficult decisions of his career.

"I think one of the most challenging times for me was to leave Swansea," he added. "It was a bittersweet moment because I didn’t want to take away from the fact I was joining another unbelievable club, in Everton, but it felt a bit sad to leave Swansea, and all my friends, and somewhere I had lived and played for so long."

Playing for his country and the Swans has clearly helped to create some special memories for Williams, who's been lucky enough to play with some really great players over the years.

When asked to name his top three, Williams replied: "Gareth Bale, for obvious reasons. I’ve been left in amazement when I’m on the same pitch as him. I always had a really good view of what he was doing because I was behind him and some of things he would do, you couldn’t believe.

"Leon Britton. We played so many games together and we knew each other’s game so well. I wouldn’t have to say too much, and off the field, we worked together so closely.

"Thirdly, I would say Joe Allen, for the same reasons really. The player that plays in front of me, I have to have a good relationship with him, and we played so many times together with Swansea, Wales and then Stoke. I know what he’s going to do, he knows what I’m going to do. Both of those midfielders made my life easier to play behind."

Playing with such great stars will no doubt serve him well in the next chapter of his career, with Williams now looking to move into coaching - a road that could well lead him back to the Wales set-up that he still holds so dear.

"I’m doing my coaching badges, my B Licence and my A Licence, so just waiting to complete that, and hopefully I’ll start in the Wales setup with an age-group, I feel like I’ve got 20 years of experience behind me so it would be selfish not to try and pass on the good bits to the next generation.

"And I’m back at Stockport County in kind of a consultancy role and trying to see them get promoted, so I’m excited about what’s next in my career, whatever that is, or the next part of my life, and we’ll see where it goes."

To see the full Ashley Williams interview, watch Mwy o Sgorio at 10pm on Wednesday evening on S4C, or on demand on S4C Clic.


Comments

  • The Leons are out there and all that is needed is for a club to have a coach who can play him in the same vein as formations set out by Martinez, Rodgers and Laudrup.

    With Guehi missing the games up to the International break and a question mark over Bennett's injury can we do any worse than picking a team consisting of Hamer// Naughton, Cabango, Latibeaudiere/Cooper//Roberts, Grimes, Smith, Manning//Arriola//Whittaker, Cooper Oli. Bring the likes of Routledge, Lowe, Ayew, etc., on when required in second half.

  • edited March 11

    Here's a link to Ashley's interview on Mwy o Sgorio (English subtitles are available for non-Welsh speakers) - it starts around 19 minutes into the programme 👍️

    https://www.s4c.cymru/clic/programme/810535083

    Former Swan Jazz Richards is also interviewed.

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