Over the next six months along with a close friend Tyrell Simpson, the idea of a football course blossomed into the now successful Ashley Williams Soccer Camp.
I have been very lucky in my career, with a lot of hard work and support from my friends and family, I have achieved many things that I once thought were never possible.
Growing up a Liverpool fan and being football crazy, the idea of playing in the best league in the world, lifting a trophy at Wembley and captaining both Swansea City and the Wales national team were just far away dreams like most children that age have.
Here I am at 32 years old having achieved much in my career but still hungry for more success. I have always wanted to give something back to my community and the next generation. Myself and Tyrell Simpson devised a slogan for what the camp would live by – “Teaching character through football”.
We believe this is what the camp stands for, by using football as the vehicle we believe we can incorporate some important life lessons and values.
In my day growing up we used to be out in the estates and parks from sun up until sun down, when your Mom called you in dinner but things are a little different in our society these days. Having kids myself I can see why that wouldn’t be a possibility.
We wanted to provide a safe, friendly environment for children to play football and enjoy themselves. Where as I enjoy the internet and game consoles as much as the next person I really think we need to get kids off them as much as possible and out burning energy and running around in the fresh air. In our camp we always touch on a healthier lifestyle for the children with the right diet and exercise our kids can be healthy for the rest of their lives.
Anyone that has attended our camps will know we try different themes from time to time whether that maybe a different language or cooking skills the children always enjoy themselves and take some knowledge home with them.
I hope in years to come the kids on our camp will have formed lifelong friendships with some of the other children they met at the camp, that would fill me with great pride and pleasure.
I always personally attend every day of every camp unless I am out of the country with Everton or Wales and now I know a lot of our kids personally and nothing makes me happier than when I see one of them in town and have a conversation with them and they show the enthusiasm about the camp that I always had in my childhood.
Hope to see you soon many thanks
About Ashley Williams
Ashley Williams was born on August 23, 1984 and is a Wales international footballer currently playing for Everton in the Premier League.
Ashley plays mainly as a central defender, but can also play right-back.
He began his career at West Bromwich Albion as a youth player but was released by the club at 16 and went on to join Hednesford Town.
He impressed enough in his time at the club that he eventually joined Stockport County in December 2003.
On 12 November 2007, Williams won the Inaugural North-West League Two Player of the Year Award. On the same night he won the Inaugural North-West Player of the Year Award too, beating such players as Steven Gerrard, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney to the award.
On 26 March, Williams made his international debut for Wales national football team, and two days later secured a move to a side close to clinching promotion to the Football League Championship. His departure from County meant he missed their run in to the end of the season, and ultimately promotion to Premier League through playoff victory at Wembley Stadium.
In March 2008, he signed for Swansea City on loan until the end of the 2007–08 season, with a view to a permanent move. On 22 May he made the move permanent, it is believed to be around £400,000. Williams scored his first Swansea goal against Derby County on 16 September 2008.
He has since covered the midfield position at Swansea due to the midfield injury crisis.
On 11 November 2009 Williams was named “Wales Footballer of the Year” and “Clubman of the Year” at an FAW awards dinner in Cardiff. In May 2010 he was selected in the Championship PFA Team of the Year for the 2009–10 season.
On 30 October 2010, Williams equalled a club record jointly held by Andy Legg and Gilbert Beech by playing 106 consecutive league games, which started in a 2–0 defeat to Charlton Athletic on 9 August 2008.
By the end of the 2010-11 season, Williams had played almost every minute of every league game for the last three seasons, missing out only when he was rested, but came off the bench in a game against Leicester City in January 2010. He was also named in the PFA Championship team of the season for the second time and gained promotion into the premier league.
During the Summer of 2016, Ashley captained Wales to the semi-finals of the European Championships in France – for the first time in their international football history.
On 10th August 2016, Everton signed Wales captain Ashley from Premier League rivals Swansea City and a new chapter in Ashley’s career began.