Williams in line to captain Wales

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Football News

Wales' new footballer of the year Ashley Williams is in line to captain his country for the first time at the weekend.

Swansea defender Williams picked up his award on Wednesday night at the Football Association of Wales presentation dinner at Cardiff City's new stadium. He also took the Wales clubman of the year award for his contribution to Swansea's season last term when they finished just outside the play-offs in the Coca-Cola Championship.

Now Wales boss John Toshack is almost certain to reward Williams further by making him skipper of the side to play Scotland on Saturday.

That honour will cap a remarkable spell for 25-year-old Williams, who did not make his international debut until March 2008.

Williams was playing non-league football at Hednesford six years ago, having been rejected by West Brom at 16. Then Stockport snapped him up and a £350,000 move to Swansea followed five years later.

But since his international debut in Luxembourg, he has missed just one of the last 18 Wales matches.

In a difficult year for Wales, with continued injuries, retirements and an ever-changing side, Williams has been the model of reliability.

He has won constant praise from boss Toshack and has been the dependable heart of Wales' defence during constant adversity, which saw them fail to qualify for South Africa 2010.

Now he has been rewarded with his country's top award and follows in the footsteps of previous winners Ryan Giggs, Mark Hughes, John Hartson, Neville Southall and Craig Bellamy.

Williams said: "This is a great honour to follow such great players, it has all happened a little quick for me."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Ashley Williams
Ryan Giggs
West Bromwich Albion
Ashley Williams
Mark Hughes
Craig Bellamy
Cardiff City
Mark Hughes
John Toshack
Swansea City

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