Williams keen to regain starting spot after injury layoff
After a year out of competitive football due to injury, Reggae Boy Dicoy Williams played 45 minutes for Toronto FC against Liverpool recently in a preseason game and cannot wait for more.
“That was the first real test I have had since my comeback and I can’t wait for more,” the 25-year-old six-footer told The Gleaner following his “satisfying” run out.
“I played five minutes against Houston (Dynamo) recently, but this 45 minutes against Liverpool I would say is my official comeback,” added Williams, who had featured in four reserve games and has been on the bench for a number of first team matches.
Williams expressed satisfaction with his performance.
“I feel good man. I feel like I put in a good shift, I got some tackles in and passed the ball around. I was not frightened because it was Liverpool that we were up against. It was a normal game for me,” said the player who had torn both his Anterior Cruciate Ligament and the Medial Collateral Ligament in his right knee while representing Jamaica against Guatemala in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in Miami last year.
“I approached it like any other game. I wanted to prove to the coach that I am back, that my confidence is back and that I can give more than say five minutes,” the former Mona High School, Arnett Gardens and Harbour View player explained.
The right knee, Williams said, is sound and ready to handle the pounding on the football field.
“The knee feels good. It was strong and I got in some real tackles man. I am not worried about it anymore and went into the tackles without even thinking about it. People asked me about it afterwards, but I wasn’t concerned so you know that it is good,” added the man who can play anywhere across the backline.
The test (Liverpool) he got from the Jamaica-born Raheem Sterling he said was a good measurement of his recovery.
“He is very good and has plenty of skill and I kept pace with him and handled him well. He is the fastest player I have ever played against. He is young still and has more to learn, but he will be even better,” he said of Sterling.
Coming back was a major achievement for Williams.
“One of the biggest moments was getting back on the bench. Being out injured was hard. It was the first time that I got injured, but it wasn’t the injury itself that was the worst for me, it was the process of rehabilitation, the mental part of it and getting back to playing, but I got a lot of support and encouragement. Once one is over the mental part it is good,” a relieved Williams said.
Having achieved one of his objectives of getting back into competitive football, Williams said the next step is to get back into the Toronto FC first team. This he said will not be easy.
“I have been on the bench for a little while, but my objective is to get into the starting team. We have a new coach and are getting good results, so it would be difficult to get in now because a coach does not necessarily change a winning team and it is even more difficult for a defender.
“What will have to happen for me to get in right now is that one of the current starting defenders will have to get a card or an injury, but I am not wishing bad for anybody. I’m working really hard, but I know it will be difficult because everyone is doing well,” Williams said.
Williams believes that he is in good enough shape to be considered for the national squad, but knows that will only come after he gets back into the Toronto starting team.
“I feel like I am ready, but no one watches a player on the bench. If you are not playing it is very difficult to be considered for selection. Within myself I know I can do it, but I know for me to be considered I have to be playing and if there are other players playing then they would be considered ahead of me. But if there are no other choices then I am willing.
“I am always willing, but right now I am focused on getting back into this set-up and getting a 90-minute run. I would never want to be in a situation where I am not ready and short-change the country,” added Williams.
While he has been out of the Jamaican team, Williams said he has been keeping a track of what is happening and keeping in touch with coach Theodore Whitmore.
“I have been keeping track of the team. I watch the news every night and read the newspapers online. I also keep in touch with the coach and let him know what is happening with me. My teammates I keep in touch with through email, Facebook and BlackBerry messenger,” Williams revealed.