Jonny Williams: ‘Time felt right’ for Swindon player to quit Wales – NewsEverything Wales

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Jonny Williams: ‘Time felt right’ for Swindon player to quit Wales – NewsEverything Wales
Jonny Williams: ‘Time felt right’ for Swindon player to quit Wales – NewsEverything Wales

Jonny Williams (centre) with Gareth Bale and Chris Gunter
Jonny Williams (centre) has retired from Wales duty along with Gareth Bale and Chris Gunter

Jonny Williams acknowledged that “all good things come to an end” after calling time on his Wales career.

The 29-year-old Swindon Town midfielder scored two goals in 33 senior international appearances for the national team.

Williams follows Gareth Bale, Joe Allen and Chris Gunter in retiring from Wales duty and says the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers will signal a new era.

“To be honest the time felt right for me,” Williams told BBC Radio Wiltshire.

“It’s a new look squad, there’s a few different changes and the start of a new campaign.

“It look’s very promising. They’ve got a lot of great young players with a lot of experience in the squad and hopefully I can watch on as a fan now.

“Unfortunately all good things come to an end. I’ve loved every minute wearing a Welsh shirt since I was a kid.

“I’ve had some unbelievable moments and memories that I’ll cherish forever.”

Kent-born Williams, who qualified through his Welsh father, made his Wales debut as a substitute for Gareth Bale in a World Cup qualifier against Scotland at Hampden Park in March 2013.

Nicknamed Joniesta by Wales fans, Williams said representing the national team had been a “massive honour”.

“I started off as a 14-year-old going to Newtown and my dad picking me up from school,” Williams recalled.

“It was a north v south Wales trial match and I remember turning up in a big baggy Crystal Palace tracksuit.

“Born in England they put me in the south Wales team and I remember having a really good game.

“Osian Roberts put me into the squads and I’ve never looked back really.

“I remember going along as a 17-year-old under Gary Speed and the squad was so together.

“There were no egos – everyone enjoyed going away and you could sense it was the start of something special that he was building in the way we were trying to play football along with the World class players we had in the side.

“I feel very grateful for being there that long and being part of that journey. It’s been unbelievable.”

Williams is one of eight players to have been included in Wales squads for three major finals – back to back European Championships and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Qualifying for Euro 2016 in France saw Wales reach a major finals for the first time in 58 years and Williams was well aware of the significance.

“We were made well aware of the situation regarding major tournaments and that it had been so many years,” Williams added.

“Going to three in a short space of time, I feel very grateful for that.

“The togetherness in the group is a key part as to why we achieved so much as a nation along with the coaching and the top managers we’ve had to learn from.

“You’re like 11 brothers fighting in the same direction and I think that’s vital for any successful team.”


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