Charlton fans erupted with glee on social media yesterday at yesterday's news that Jonny Williams has returned to the club.
It wasn't just the fans that were excited, his teammates were also thrilled with the news, a fact typified by the warm hug he had with fellow Welsh international Tom Lockyer shortly after putting pen to paper on his new deal.
"I feel at home here," the 25-year-old told Valley Pass in an exclusive interview following his return.
Williams exudes a positive, friendly energy which has made him a popular individual amongst players, management and staff at Charlton's Sparrows Lane training ground.
The full interview with him is on Valley Pass. You can sign up for Valley Pass for just £6.50 a month or £60 for the season. To sign-up, click here. Below are some of the talking points from his interview.
On his return to Charlton…
“I’m delighted. I’m over the moon to be back amongst this group of lads, with the manager and staff, I feel at home here. I’m delighted to sign and really excited to play with this team in the Championship.
“I potentially could have waited another two weeks to see what other options there are and what else is available, but at the end of the day, I’m happy here and happy in this environment. I was thinking the other day, it’s hard to walk away from that. It’s a special feeling and I just can’t wait to get started; the fans have made me feel at home here and I’m really excited to play in a Charlton shirt this season.”
On his relationship with the Charlton fans…
“From day one, from my debut against Sunderland, I didn’t know how they (the supporters) were going to react coming from another South London team. Singing my name on my debut, I can’t thank them enough for the support they’ve given me. One of the main reasons I decided to stay and be a part of this was because they made me feel at home here and you can’t substitute that feeling. I feel wanted here and I’ve not always had that feeling. It means a lot, so I’m delighted to be back and looking forward to seeing them all against Villa.
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“I was very thankful of the opportunity when the manager called me at the start of pre-season and said if I wanted to come away and train with the lads. I’m very glad I took up that opportunity to go because I really enjoyed my two weeks with the lads and the staff. The manager has been fantastic with me since Wembley and even before that. He has improved me as a player, as a person and I think he’ll do the same this year. It was one of the main reasons I want to be here, to work with the manager, because I think he can improve me. It’s a very good team togetherness that’s brought here, with the struggles that are happening, to create a team bond that he has. It’s a pleasure to be a part of that.”
On playing with international teammate Tom Lockyer...
“I was delighted to see Tom sign, he’s a top player, we spent a few Wales camps together. We spoke in the summer, I was telling him how good Charlton are and trying to get him on board, so he might have listened a little bit. He’s here and I think he’s a great signing and he’ll be great for us this year. I’m looking forward to playing with him.”
On the play-off final…
"To be honest with the amounts of ups and downs I’ve had in my career so far, it was amazing. Definitely one of the best moments in my career and my life, and to share it with the dressing room that was involved in last year, it was amazing. To do it in the play-offs, I’ve done it before and it’s the best way to go up, and to do it again was ever so special.”
On the Championship next season…
“I’ve spent the majority of my career in the Championship. It’s a level I know I can play at, it’s a great league full of top teams and we’re one of them now. It’s the least Charlton should be in and it’s an exciting place to be. There’s going to be some great stadiums and some big games, and they will be coming thick and fast. Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, there will be cup games as well, so a lot of games. So, we need to be ready for that and we’ve got three pre-season games coming up now, we’re looking good. Hopefully we will see a few more new faces and I’m excited. I think we will surprise a few people.”
Williams' full interview is on Valley Pass. You can sign up for Valley Pass for just £6.50 a month or £60 for the season. To sign-up, click here.
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Article contributed to by Josh Eden