First out of the AAMI Park tunnel on a Melbourne City game day is an infections smile and a cheeky comment. A player gifted with speed and skill to match his lively personality, David Williams has embraced the full-circle of Australian Football.
“Football to me is just a way of life. It means everything to me, just about everything I do revolves around it.”
It’s an attitude that has earned Williams a reputation as a hard-worker on the training track and an asset to Melbourne City as they prepare to make a run for A-League silverware.
David’s mentality has been one of dedication and hard work since falling for the round ball in suburban Brisbane as a teenager. His speed and scoring ability saw him quickly progress through the Queensland Academy of Sport and Junior Socceroo squads to becoming one of Australia’s hottest young prospects.
Soon enough gaining attention from Europe with trials offered from Club Brugge, Brønby and English giants Liverpool before eventually signing with Brønby at age 17.
“I felt it was quite easy, I was going over there to do what I loved and play what I was passionate about so I never got home sick or wanted to come home.”
“I was just loving being in an environment where the facilities were quality and the football was great.”
However a training injury left Williams on the sidelines for the best part of six-months. A change of manager left him being over-looked for the first eleven and in need of a change.
“I had a bit of a knee problem, nothing major, but it just took me a while to get back in. A new coach then came in and I didn’t get a chance, which stopped my time playing over there.”
“That’s the deal in Europe. If you don’t recover well or the coach doesn’t choose you, you’ve got to seek an alternative.”
“It was then there was an opportunity for me to return to Australian and go up to the North Queensland Fury. I enjoyed my time up there more than anything. It was such a good little town to play in.”
The FFA’s controversial closing of the club lead to an early departure from his home state bound for Melbourne with the hope of a fresh opportunity to regain his feet and continue to make his mark on the pitch.
“It was more about moving to a big city and getting a chance to restart my career as a starting 11 player.”
“John Van’t Schipp came to watch some of the games and after one we sat down, had a chat and they convinced me to come down (to Melbourne). I was quite impressed with what they had to say and where the club was going. Unfortunately we haven’t really done well the time i’ve been here, but I loved being part of Melbourne Heart as a club and now as City.“
Now donning the City group Sky Blue, the day-to-day life of a Melbourne Heart player has changed dramatically. Trips to Manchester, marquee visits, sponsorship deals and an end to the wheely-bin ice bathes, City life is good.
“I was a little bit surprised when I first heard but very excited at the same time. I knew what the [City Football Group] could bring to the club and even bigger the A-League.”
“We were very luck to travel to Manchester earlier this year. The facilities we unbelievable, the field were great, they have a specialist chef, even the analysis we get is unbelievable..
“It offers the chance to get a good head-space which has been hard at different times with Melbourne Heart and having some very average facilities at times, it’s getting better for us as a club.”
“So far this season we’ve got the ingredients, we just need to mix it all together with the right constancy to get the end prize we’re looking for.”
“We’ve played very well in patches and exciting at times. We have to take the chances when they came and that’s what makes a team either a team in seventh spot or first spot.”
Photography by Aleksander Jason. Interview by Jacob Arnott.