Jonny Williams on his Crystal Palace exit: The disappointment of not playing was not good for me

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Jonny Williams will have a new experience this summer – as he doesn’t head back to Crystal Palace for pre-season training.

The midfielder ended a 17-year career with the Eagles when he joined Charlton at the start of January.

Williams had been marked out as a star in the making coming through the youth ranks – but injuries hit at the wrong time. He played 70 times for Palace but also had loans at Ipswich, Milton Keynes, Sunderland and Forest.

“Usually I’d be going back to Palace for a fresh start,” he said. “A small part of me with the hope that this could be my season, to be involved in the Premier League.

“But the disappointment of not being involved got too much. It wasn’t good for me as a player, to keep feeling not good enough.

“I wasn’t a kid anymore – but because I had been there my whole life I was probably still seen as a kid by some people at Palace.

“I thought I deserved more opportunities and respect really, because whenever I go elsewhere I’m treated as one of them and feel part of it. That’s when you get the best out of me.

“I’m glad I’ve left in the end. I can’t keep travelling to all those nice stadiums and be 19th man every time, because Jonny is happy to do that.

“I’m 25, I want to be playing. It is great for young players to travel and be a part of it. But I’d tasted it – and I wanted more. I wanted to go and prove myself on that stage.”

When Welsh international Williams chose to sign for Charlton it was the first time he had played outside of England’s top two tiers.

“I thought it was the best move for me to come down a couple of levels.

“I knew I could play in the Championship but I wanted to make sure I was playing week in and week out – to show people I can play games on the spin and get myself out there again.”

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