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domingo, 4 de septiembre de 2016

Revitalised Ashley Williams wants to play for Wales for as long as possible... and he's eager to keep learning under Everton boss Ronald Koeman


  • Ashley Williams is gearing up for Wales World Cup qualifying campaign
  • Centre back says his move from Swansea to Everton has re-energised him
  • Williams wants to learn under former first-rate defender Ronald Koeman
  • Wales skipper draws line under Euro 2016 exploits ready for new challenge
Wayne Rooney announced his intention to step down from England after the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and Wales manager Chris Coleman has also said the coming campaign will be his last.
But Williams, who turned 32 last month, is not of a mind to call time on his days as Wales captain and is excited at leading his country’s bid to qualify for the tournament in Russia in two years time, starting with a game on Monday night against Moldova.
Ashley Williams has no plans to follow England counterpart Wayne Rooney into retirement
Ashley Williams has no plans to follow England counterpart Wayne Rooney into retirement
Williams keeps the company befitting a man who has a vital leadership role for his country
Williams keeps the company befitting a man who has a vital leadership role for his country
The 32-year-old is keen to absorb all he can from his new club manager, Ronald Koeman
The 32-year-old is keen to absorb all he can from his new club manager, Ronald Koeman
'I love coming away and playing for Wales. I want to try to keep that going for as long as possible.’
Williams, who played 50 games for club and country last season, signed a three-year contract at Goodison Park last month and said the change of scene after eight years at Swansea has given his game renewed energy.
'Yes it has a little bit to be honest,’ he added. 'When you go to a new place and you are the new boy you have to try to impress everyone and get your head down and start from scratch.
Williams says he is re-energised by the challenge of being the new boy at Goodison Park
Williams says he is re-energised by the challenge of being the new boy at Goodison Park
The centre back ended an eight-year stay with Swansea City when he signed for Everton
The centre back ended an eight-year stay with Swansea City when he signed for Everton
'I have been working hard in training to try to get up to speed and get my body in good shape and hopefully that will stand me in good stead for Monday night.’
He said that even at his age he could learn off Koeman, who won the European Cup with Barcelona and Euro 1988 with Holland as a ball-playing centre back.
‘There is not one thing specifically but I am enjoying playing underneath him,’ said Williams. 'As I said when I moved he is one of the best centre halves who ever played.
The ex-Swansea man has a spring in his step as he gets ready for Wales' clash with Moldova
The ex-Swansea man has a spring in his step as he gets ready for Wales' clash with Moldova
Williams and his Wales colleagues have relived their Euro 2016 run during this get together
Williams and his Wales colleagues have relived their Euro 2016 run during this get together
Boss Chris Coleman is quitting after this World Cup campaign but Williams won't follow suit
Boss Chris Coleman is quitting after this World Cup campaign but Williams won't follow suit
'I am going to be a sponge to learn off him and try to take in as much as I can of his knowledge. I could say more later on in the season but right now I am trying to settle in and find my way into that system.
'I’ve had two 90 minutes and training is pretty intense up there as well so I feel fine and ready.’
Williams shone at Euro 2016 as Wales reached the semi-finals and revealed Coleman had shown his team a video of highlights from France to provide inspiration – but underlined they must now move past those memories.
‘We have had a couple of videos in meetings,’ said Williams. 'The first one was a video about the Euros just to relieve what it was like. It was important to acknowledge what we did and it was also important to put that to bed a little bit. Use the experience of it and move on.'  
There's echoes of Usain Bolt in Gareth Bale's sly glance at Williams as the pair contest a sprit
There's echoes of Usain Bolt in Gareth Bale's sly glance at Williams as the pair contest a sprit


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