Williams relishing Wembley appearance
Ashley Williams is relishing being in the best form of his life as he looks to cap his journey from non-league football to the top flight with a Capital One Cup winners' medal.
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The central defender is set to lead Swansea out against Bradford at Wembley on Sunday as the south Wales club look to secure their first major trophy in their centenary season.
For Williams, who was released by West Brom as a youngster, it would complete his rise from playing as a part-timer for Hednesford Town - during which time he worked at Drayton Manor theme park as well as at a bowling alley - to making his mark in the Premier League and being handed the role of Wales captain.
The 28-year-old has made the step up to the Premier League with aplomb, but he had to endure a difficult start to this season when a string of uncharacteristic errors led to Swansea and Wales conceding costly goals.
Typically, Williams has responded superbly. He has shown tremendous leadership when skippering club and country, and his comfort in possession, allied to his strength and reading of the game, have seen him heaped with praise.
Wales boss Chris Coleman recently picked Williams out as the form centre-half in the Premier League, and the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal are thought to be interested in recruiting him.
But Williams is not getting carried away, remaining mindful of his travails at the start of the season.
"It wasn't a good time for me and I had to knuckle down through it," he said. "But obviously now I am performing better and things have gone very well since the turn of the year and I am looking forward to what's coming up."
Williams has been to Wembley before with Swansea, helping them secure promotion from the Championship with a 4-2 play-off final win over Reading at Wembley.
And is delighted a return to the home of English football has arrived at a time when he is in such good form.
"I think I am probably in the best form of my career, although I will leave that up to other people to decide. It is always nice to hear people say nice things about you," he said.
"I think I have been playing well and a lot of people have been talking and saying good things. So it just means I'm probably doing my job right and I try to keep working hard.
"But I don't think that I am the best in the Premier League or anything like that.
"It's just about staying on my game and it's going to be great to go and play at Wembley again.
"It will be a fabulous day out to take this club there for a major cup final, but it won't be any good if we don't apply ourselves properly and don't perform."