Patience and hard work pays off for Dan Williams
Swansea City’s Daniel Williams could not hide his excitement after grabbing his first-team opportunity with both hands against Reading.
The 20-year-old midfielder made his competitive debut for the Swans in the Carabao Cup first-round clash against the Royals.
He got to play the full 90 minutes as Russell Martin’s side secured a 3-0 win, and was among the most impressive performers on the night, even getting a mention from the head coach in his post-match press conference.
It ends a wait for a Swans debut that has seen Williams have to look on while a number of fellow academy products got their chance.
But it proved worth all the hard work and patience and Williams, whose father Nigel was himself once a Swans scholar, was a proud man after making his bow.
“I’ve got to thank the gaffer for giving me the opportunity,” he said.
“It’s my first start, my full debut and the fans were brilliant, especially when we scored the second.
“I brought quite a few of my family along, my mum and dad were here, my cousins who live in Reading and my mate and all his family came up too, so there was a big group of them here.
“I spotted my mate in the crowd at the end and I got a little bit too excited!
“But it’s been a great night for me. Last year there were a lot of us who moved up (to the first-team squad) and I was the only one not to make my debut whether that was in the league or the cup.
“I’ve got to thank the gaffer for giving me that opportunity today and I feel like I took it well.”
Williams ended the night with more than 90 touches to his name, a handful of key challenges and a 96 per cent pass completion rate.
Head coach Martin felt the team display showed signs of progress from the weekend defeat at Blackburn, and Williams can sense a growing confidence in the squad.
“We’re only going to get better, it’s a difficult system but if you get it right it looks easy,” he added.
“As the weeks go on we’re just going to get better and better.
“We had a game plan for this match and we stuck to it. We’re obviously still learning under the new gaffer but we got most of it right.
“We kept the ball and, when we didn’t have it, we made sure we got it back quickly.”