Neco Williams savours Wales goal and targets win over England at Wembley

6 September 2020 0 By Total Football News

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Sport Wales

Neco Williams enjoying 'family chemistry' with Wales

Neco Williams does not seem like someone who is easily fazed.

Having won the Premier League with Liverpool and scored a match-winning goal in only his second appearance for Wales, he has accomplished more than the average 19-year-old full-back.

But even this prodigiously talented young man admits he was taken aback by the experience of coming on as a substitute to score deep into injury time and clinch victory for Wales in Sunday's Nations League match against Bulgaria.

"To make my debut for my country, then to make my home debut and to even score is a surreal moment," says Williams, who won his first cap from the bench during Thursday's 1-0 win in Finland.

"I wasn't expected to be in the box in the 94th minute. Luckily I got my fringe on the ball and it was a surreal moment.

"I'm sure my friends and family are all proud of me."

That is beyond doubt. Born in Wrexham, Williams is the son of two Welsh parents, including a Welsh-speaking father.

He played for Wales throughout the age groups and he has spoken passionately about his love for his country.

However, that did not stop England trying to convince the Liverpool youngster to switch allegiance.

Until he made his senior competitive debut for Wales against Finland, Williams could have qualified to play for England through an English grandparent - not that he would have been interested.

"England were trying to ring my agent a lot and wanting to speak to me, but I weren't having none of it," he says.

"My family's Welsh, I'm Welsh and my friends are Welsh. So it was always going to be Wales."

'It's how Neco plays, he's got the desire' - Wales boss Giggs praises Williams

There we have it then. Just in case there was any doubt.

As it happens, Wales' next match will be against England in a friendly on 8 October.

Historically it is a fixture in which Wales have struggled, winning only 14 of their 102 meetings with their neighbours with the most recent victory coming back in 1984.

But Williams, true to form and not one to be fazed by any challenge, believes Wales are capable of beating an English side they last met in a Euro 2016 group game.

"Next month we've got England and that's going to be a great game," he says.

"With the quality we have in this team we're going to prove to them we're capable of beating them. I'm sure it's going to be a great game.

"All the boys are excited and can't wait for the game."

Wales celebrate after their late winner against Bulgaria in Cardiff
Wales celebrate after their late winner against Bulgaria in Cardiff

The match at Wembley could see Williams face the man who occupies the right-back position in Liverpool's first team, a player he appears to model much of his game on - Trent Alexander-Arnold.

At 21 years old, the England player is hardly a veteran, though his outstanding performances for Liverpool in their Premier League and Champions League triumphs have also earned him a host of individual awards.

Williams is already demonstrating with his attacking displays how he is learning from Alexander-Arnold and, with the likes of Gareth Bale as inspiration with Wales, he is not short of mentors in international football either.

"To learn off the best players in the world for club and country is something that a young lad like me has always dreamt of," Williams says.

"Growing up as a kid, I've always been an attacking player. I've played on the wing, I've even played in the 10 role.

"For me as a player I've always looked to the forward players. To be honest, wherever I play I'm grateful and I'll always put a shift in.

"I'll keep improving as a player and keep showing the dedication, I'll stay humble and if all that comes together I'll be a top player."

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