Vår långa skadelista har gjort att en del namn som vi inte förväntade oss har fått ta större plats i truppen. Ett sådant namn är Rhys Williams, som idag kanske får chansen att göra sin första Premier League-start. Innan säsongen var vi nog ganska många som inte sett speciellt mycket av den här unge mittbacken, då han spenderade förra säsongen ute på lån. En som dock såg honom väldigt mycket var Shane Wilkinson(@nonleaguewriter), säsongskortsinnehavare på Kiddminster Harriers läktare och matchrapportsskribent på Harriers online. Han såg Williams första mål på seniornivå, han såg Williams första seniormatch och han berättar här om hur det var att ha talangen i sitt lag under förra säsongen.
1. Tell us a bit about the club, in what League did you play last season and how did you do?
Were Kidderminster Harriers, and we play at Step 2 of the English non league setup in the National League North, where we are one of the only fully professional clubs at this level(the sixth level of English football). Last season was poor, finishing 15th with three different managers and a change of ownership
2. How would you describe the way you play?
The one good thing about us is that we do try and play a positive and attractive style of football which I think helped us have Rhys on loan. The success from that has allowed us to get another young defender on loan, this time from Man U. In a league that’s very physical, we do try and play good football, which is positive
3. In what role was Rhys Williams used? How would you describe him as a defender? Strenghts/weaknesses
Rhys played the majority of the games last season and played centre half usually as part of a 5-3-2. We could tell quite quickly that he was a special talent from the way he was on the ball, very composed. He made a few mistakes at the start as he adjusted to his first experience of men’s football, but was near faultless after that first couple of games. Rhys is very good in the air, but also has tremendous on the ball ability. Definitely a good ball playing defender but he knows his role is to defend first and foremost which he does well and as Liverpool fans are starting to see. I have seen some people are a little worried about his strength with him being slim but I don’t share those concerns. In non league, you will be bullied. Rhys wasn’t bullied
4. How do you rate his time at your club? How was his development?
Rhys is quite possibly the best loanee the club have ever had. The other two names to spring to mind are Wes Morgan and Ben Foster, who had loan spells in the early 2000s but the general consensus is that Rhys is the best we’ve had. As our manager has said in numerous interviews, he immersed himself fully into life at Kidderminster off the pitch and evolved into a leader on it. He played alongside Keith Lowe, who is 34 and has over 500 appearances in his career from league two downwards which would have been a massive help
5. Do you think he is ready for Premier League?
In truth, I was expecting him to go out on loan to a league 1/2 side this season, my personal bet being Tranmere. Obviously he then played in the 7/2 win over Lincoln and kept a clean sheet against an Arsenal side and the likes of Nicolas Pepe. I didn’t see him playing Champions League but here he is and here he is doing well! He was getting called up for England U19s with us, which is unheard of at our level, and has now played for the U21s as well. Is he ready for the Premier League? There’s only one way to find out, and that’s to play him. I have no fear over him though, he’s taken everything in his stride so far and I’d expect him to continue to do so again.