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Page last updated at 06:27 GMT, Wednesday, 7 October 2009 07:27 UK

Williams signs new Swans contract

Williams became Swansea's most expensive player in 2008
Williams was Swansea City's most expensive player for a year

Defender Ashley Williams has committed his long-term future to Swansea City by signing a new four-year contract.

The 25-year-old Wales international, who was the club's record signing until this summer, will stay at the Liberty Stadium until 2013.

"Things are looking up on and off the pitch and I'm so happy to be part of it," said Williams.

"The gaffer [Paulo Sousa] said I was a big part of his plans and wanted me to stay longer."

Williams joined the Swans from Stockport County on loan towards the end of the 2007/8 season when the club won the League One title under former manager Roberto Martinez.

At the end of the campaign the County captain made his move permanent in a club-record £400,000 deal.

This summer, Nathan Dyer matched the record fee which was soon eclipsed by Craig Beattie's arrival from West Brom - £500,000 rising to £800,000 with add-ons.

Williams has continued to progress under new manager Sousa and is the club's joint top scorer this season with two goals.

"I enjoy working with him so it didn't take me long to come to an agreement with the club over this new deal," he added.

606: DEBATE

"It was a hard first season in the Championship last year, but I think I've learnt and grown a lot as a player since I came here. I've enjoyed my football and now I'm looking to kick on.

"I'm happy with the way I'm playing, but you can always get better.

"It certainly doesn't stop here for me. I need to keep learning off the gaffer and those I'm involved with on the international scene.

"My aim is still to get into the Premier League with Swansea - and sooner rather than later.''

Williams' senior career started at Hednesford Town when he was released by West Brom at the age of 16.

He combined his part-time football career with jobs on the fun fair at Drayton Manor theme park and as a waiter in a local restaurant.

Although as a youngster he was never a regular for the non-league club, he impressed enough to attract a bid from Oldham after a successful trial at Boundary Park.

Hednesford rejected the bid, but he was then allowed to join Stockport on a free transfer on New Year's Eve in 2003.

After breaking into the senior side against Hartlepool on 16 March 2004, his eye-catching performances saw him lift the club's Young Player of the Year award.

And following the arrival of manager Jim Gannon in January 2006, Williams won the club's Player of the Year award at the end of the 2005-06 season before Stockport turned down a bid of £500,000 from Luton Town.

Having progressed to club captain Williams, who had also attracted interest from Cardiff and Leeds, initially joined the Swans on loan just days after he won his first cap for Wales courtesy of his grandfather's Welsh roots.



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see also
Williams backed for Premier move
05 Aug 09 |  Swansea
Swans complete Williams signing
22 May 08 |  Swansea
Swans sign Stockport's Williams
27 Mar 08 |  Swansea
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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