Saturday, December 4, 2010

David Williams Half Time Heroes Interview

At 18 years of age, David Williams arrived on the scene in 2006 playing in a couple of substitute appearance for the Queensland Roar. Soon enough David made a dream move to Brondby where he played for the next three seasons. Unfortunately for David during his third season a new manager came in and he lost his place in the side. Eager to play regular football David came back to play with the North Queensland Fury last season and fans got to see an exciting quick and dangerous attacking player.

Playing alongside Robbie Fowler the Fury did not finish last as most pundits predicted. It seemed David’s decision to move back home worked as he was included in the Socceroos squad for the Asian Cup qualifier in March against Indonesia earlier this year.

Although the young Townsville side have impressed many this season, they have only recorded one victory back in round two.

Lead by eccentric coach Franz Straka  the Fury produced some excellent early season form.
They beat champions Sydney FC  and drew with  Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory by scoring late goals. However since they beat Sydney they have not won a game and are in second last.

 Away from football David also does work with Indigenous Australians. He is involved in a programme where once a week he goes to the Cleveland Detention Centre in Townsville as part of a mentoring programme. He is always attending local Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander events/programmes and will be involved in the club’s partnership with Mission Australia (the club’s front shirt sposnor ) which aims to improve the lives of Indigenous people throughout Northern Australia through sport.

I was lucky to spend some time with David and one of the first questions I asked was about his time in Denmark.

Half Time Heroes: Before you signed with Fury you spent three seasons with Brondby in Denmark. That must have been an exciting time, what was the feeling going into a new country having to deal with a new culture and language?

David Williams: I loved it. It was a different experience. For me I went over and I was in the youth team for a while then I made the first team and I was consistently playing and unfortunate events happened over there and I just found myself not making the squad so I had to do what I can to play regularly.

HTH: Some reports said the club sent you out on trial to South African club Bidvest Wits after  you demanded a place in the starting line up; can you tell us what happened?

DW: I’m pretty happy that I did make the move back. There were problems there with not playing, I needed to cement a place. I was unfortunately a part of that but I have moved one and its all part of football.  I have become better for it I know that I can learn from past experiences.

HTH: What was it like living in Denmark?

DW: I loved it. I lived right in Copenhagen - it’s such a beautiful city and even in the winter and in the summer  there  are lots of things to do. I enjoyed every day I was there. I’d love to go back, but I just want to be somewhere where I can play football.

HTH: Looking back at last season were you happy with the form you showed in your first season with the Fury?

DW: Yeah definitely. I think for us we read a few of the claims about what was written about us before the season and even during the season.

We did go further than expected, from expectation being bottom of the table I think if anyone had seen those predictions we have done very well.  We always thought that we were a good football team that could play and thought we could knock off some big teams. We did what we can and worked very hard.

HTH: How was playing with Robbie Fowler it looked like he had a good rapport with all the players? 
DW: For us seeing where he has come from to where he is now is a great journey for him. I think he is very comfortable and loves every minute of living in Australia.
 HTH: Your new coach seems eccentric with loud jackets and exciting antics on the sidelines; did he turn up with the white suit when you first met him?

DW: He did have some white pants on. He was very European looking; he has got a good fashion sense.  For a European I think he fits right in.  He brings a bit of a different fashion sense here, he’s a character. He didn’t have to change completely to fit into a place like this. 

HTH: With young players like Isaka Cernak, Chris Grossman ,Osama Malik ,Chris Payne and yourself he has really embraced a youth philosophy?

DW: Some of these players didn’t get their chance at other clubs so they have come here and they are good footballers. I mean you don’t sign an A-League contract because you are a bad player.

We are professionals here and we get paid to do our thing and some of the players here are loving life and loving playing football regularly. So if you are happy and things are going well for you on the field you are going to be playing well. 

For me playing with Chris and Isaka up front, it’s very exciting for us. We never what’s going on, and we never if Chris Payne is going to pass it or not.

HTH: Well yeah, Chris has set up a few goals this season, he seems determined after his move from Sydney FC?

DW: Yeah it’s very impressive and same with Isaka as well. He’s got a bag full of tricks and someone very unpredictable, you don’t know whether he’s going to run down the left, run down the right or take you on , he’s always got something and even if you know what he’s going to do he can still fool a defender. 

It’s very very exciting to watch them , from my side of the field looking over sometimes it puts a smile on my face knowing they are doing all they can do. I am just happy to be a part of the attacking line up that we have up here in the new Fury.

 HTH: You have had a great start to the season, did the expectations change after such a good start and after having your first loss how have you handled that?

DW: It’s only one loss.  I mean you might be able to go 26 something games without a loss but eventually every team loses in this league.  It’s very tight. The coach explained to us that we have to carry on and lift ourselves up.  He never believed from the start that we should be on the bottom of the table. I don’t think anyone should. I don’t know what they are thinking if they think we should be on the bottom of the table

Our Coach puts a lot of confidence and belief into the players. If he puts belief into the players I think it goes into the whole squad believing we are a good football team. 

There is never an easy game in this league, for us it’s all about getting those three points it’s disappointing to have a loss at home and lose three points. We are kicking ourselves for it. I mean that’s football you accept it  and you try to see what went wrong and  look at your mistakes. We  have a video session and try and improve on that  and in training in the lead up to the game as well. 

HTH: Thoughts On Adelaide United?

DW:I think Adelaide did play some good football they capitalised on our mistakes. Flores goal was excellent he should be congratulated for that.

Adelaide is a good team and they should be congratulated as well. As I said before this league is very tight. You never know who is going to win games and lose games and it’s very exciting to be a part of. I just love the lead up to the games. The Thursday the Friday and the Saturday and getting  out on that pitch on the weekend is a great feeling.

HTH:You have got a couple of African players in the squad this year adding a different international flavour how are they adapting to life in Townsville?

DW:The experience of Eric Akoto and Eugene Supaya adds to the team no matter where they come from . If you see Eric in his game he is very calm 

and it’s excellent to have someone so calming and 
having a big strong presence at the back and leading the defensive line for us.

HTH: Do you feel like a bit of an unofficial leader with your experience at the club? 

DW: I do feel like I know a lot of the ropes, especially in Townsville. Knowing a few people is good just to help out the boys. I feel comfortable in that role because I have been here, you just know a bit more but once everyone fits in the team and finds their own feet then everyone is all equal.

 It’s not about who knows who or who knows the most people or anything like that. If we all work as a team I guess it doesn’t matter how long you have been at the club.  If w can get results on the field and play well together then that is what I want to be a part of.
HTH: Tell us about your Socceroo ambitions?
 DW: Hopefully if I can keep scoring a few more goals and playing as well as I can I’ll just scrape over the line and get into the national team and hopefully get a chance when I get into the squad to do what I can. 

Hopefully some of the other boys in our team an get over the line as well. 

Any national team honours is a privilege to play and wear that shirt for the county.

HTH: With Pim Verbeek gone and with new hope that the new coach will turn his eye towards some  A-League players, what do you think about reports that this year the A-League has taken a step up in standard? 

DW: It’s difficult to say maybe it has or maybe the teams are fairer now and it’s more exciting that is why it seems that the standard has raised. You got football analysts and coaches looking at the games differently. As a player bottom teams are competing against top teams. 

It’s exciting that people have labelled this the most exciting A-League season ever and to be a part of that is excellent and hopefully I can do my part and make that exciting and enjoyable for people to watch.

I know us at the Fury we want to play entertaining football so people can watch us. We want to draw a crowd especially at our home games, and have that extra sense of atmosphere. This A League season I do see a higher level in that we have a few more international players, obviously we lost a few. There are more South Americans which is cool, but hopefully in a few more years we get some younger kids like us in the Fury starting regularly whichwould be nice for the local community and the local fans to see some of what they can produce.

This sixth season of the A-League, I’m proud to be a part of it and play regularly for the Fury.

HTH: Tell us about being a role model for Aboriginal kids and do you think the talent identification system for young Aboriginal players can be improved for example how were you discovered?

DW: For me I don’t think I was discovered, I was just brought up in the right path way to make it to the right teams. The local clubs first, then Brisbane Roar, then Queensland, then Australia. So I was right in the midst of it. I wasn’t discovered because I was some talented Aboriginal, I was in the mix with all the other boys. 

As a role model I like having my name next to that. 

I love doing what I can with these kids, just hanging out and talking even if it’s just sitting there and talking and sitting at desks while they are at school.

I go to Cleveland Street Detention Centre every week  and that’s great, I love looking after a few boys there. It’s just a nice little group to be involved with.

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