. . . Williams commits to another three years
Defender Ashley Williams has given the Swans a timely boost ahead of Saturday’s trip to Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City by signing a new three-year contract.
The Welsh international skipper put pen to paper on a one-year extension this afternoon to keep him at the Liberty Stadium until June 2015.
“I’m delighted to get it signed,’’ declared Williams. “It’s dragged on a bit, but I’m happy to finally sign and be part of this team. I’m enjoying it here; it’s a great place to be at the moment.
“If we continue to work as hard as we have been, we will continue to go forward as a team and a club.’’
Williams, who skippers the side in the absence of club captain Garry Monk, first signed for the Swans at the end of the 2007-08 season following a successful loan spell from Stockport County.
The loan move on March 27 followed a day after the 23-year-old made his full international debut for Wales in a friendly international in Luxembourg.
Since then the central defender has also gone on to captain his country after being promoted earlier this month by Wales boss Chris Coleman.
“I still remember signing on loan for the club on the last minute of deadline day back in 2008,’’ he added. “I arrived at the stadium late, signed the contract on the bonnet of my car and the club secretary had to run up the stairs to fax it off.
“I would never have believed it would turn out this way for me or the club. To captain my club, country and play week in week out in the Premier League is what dreams are made of.
“I’ve enjoyed every year I’ve been here. It’s always been different, normally with a change of manager, but what has stayed the same is the closeness of the squad. One of the best things about playing here is the players. They are a great bunch and I look forward to going into training every day.’’
His senior career began at Hednesford Town after he was released by West Brom at the age of 16. But he was then allowed to join Stockport on a free transfer on New Year's Eve on 2003.
During his first full season with the Swans he was the only outfield player in the Coca-Cola Championship to play every minute of the 46 league matches.
He was crowned the Welsh Player of the Year and Club Player of the Year for 2009 and was named in the PFA Championship team of the year in 2009-10.
Ash retained his place in the PFA team the following season after another outstanding campaign in the Championship which culminated with promotion.
A rock in the heart of the Swansea defence, he played every league game in three seasons before starting their first Premier League campaign as the club record holder for the most consecutive league appearances for an outfield player.
Williams signed a new three-year contract at the Liberty in the summer of 2011, before extending that today.