Wales coaches back skipper Williams

07 October 2010 09:30

Wales' interim coaching staff are confident they have chosen a winner to lead the side this week in Ashley Williams.

Swansea defender Williams was named as national team captain for Friday's crucial Euro 2012 qualifier against Bulgaria at the Cardiff City Stadium. Caretaker manager Brian Flynn believes the 26-year-old, who takes the armband from the injured Craig Bellamy, can rally the side after defeat in the opening Group G match in Montenegro last month.

Flynn's assistant Alan Curtis, who is also a coach with Williams' club side, said: "Some players in this day and age have difficulty playing two games a week, but Ashley hardly misses training and rarely misses games. He has always made himself available for Wales, for friendlies or competitive games. All the factors add up and he became the logical choice."

He added: "Players sometimes get rejected at a younger age and when they come out of the game they realise what a fantastic life and unique job it is.

"If they are fortunate enough to get back into it they become double determined to stay there and improve.

"He is now playing at Championship level with, I am sure, aspirations to play in the Premier League.

"I have no doubts he is a Premier League player who is currently playing in the Championship."

Williams does have previous experience of leading the side having done so in a friendly defeat in Croatia in May and the win over Scotland last November when Bellamy was also missing.

Bellamy returned to inspire a 5-1 friendly win over Luxembourg in August but could not prevent the 1-0 loss in Montenegro which marked the end of John Toshack's six-year reign as manager.

Wales now need positive results on Friday and in Switzerland next Tuesday to keep hopes of qualifying from a group that also includes England alive.

Source: PA