Williams happy to lead Wales
Wales defender Ashley Williams is thrilled to have been given the chance to captain his country.
Last Updated: 22/05/10 7:18pm
Wales defender Ashley Williams is thrilled to have been given the chance to captain his country in the absence of several senior team-mates.
The 25-year-old will wear the armband for Wales' friendly in Croatia on Sunday due to the unavailability of numerous players, including Craig Bellamy, James Collins and Simon Davies.
The match will mark the second time Williams has led his country and, with 15 players absent for the clash, the Swansea player is aware of his responsibility to his young colleagues.
A quartet of players from the Under-21 side were drafted in this week by manager John Toshack, but still only 17 players travelled to Osijek following eight withdrawals.
Williams, who made his international debut just two years ago and skippered the side in their victory over Scotland last November, is relishing the opportunity to lead his country once again.
"I really enjoyed the game and to be asked again is as big," said Williams. "Hopefully the game goes the same way.
"There is no hiding the fact we have a lot of players out but on the flipside it gives a chance for the young lads to come in and play their part.
"We can only concentrate on the people that are here. It is a waste of time talking about those that aren't.
"Everyone is lively and bubbly and it is quite a young squad.
"With the young lads it's about trying to help them out and letting them know if they have any questions they can come to me.
"They've done really well in training, they're confident lads. I remember when I first came in I didn't talk too much.
"They're part of the squad now and the lads have taken to them."
Sunday's game is likely to present a tough challenge for Wales as they take on a side still feeling the pain of failing to qualify for the World Cup.
"They are a very good team and can't be under-estimated," added Williams.
"It will be a good game to warm up for the likes of Montenegro (who Wales will meet in their Euro 2012 qualifying group), who are a similar type of team."