Express & Star

Walsall's Andy Williams wants to push for promotion

Having achieved three promotions already from League Two, Andy Williams hopes to be challenging at the right end of the table once more with Walsall.


Williams has joined the Saddlers as part of Michael Flynn’s summer

overhaul and comes in having gone up with three different clubs – Doncaster Rovers, Northampton Town and Cheltenham Town.

The 35-year-old centre-forward has settled in quickly, scoring twice in pre-season, and wants to compete towards the top of the league in 2022/23.

“That’s always my aim,” said Williams. “Obviously, the club’s aim is to build and improve on what we had last season.

“It’s a massive jump from there to promotion, but deep down, in this league, it’s got to be everyone’s aim. Four teams get promoted and top seven are all in with a shout, so it’s got to be everyone’s aim, I’d imagine.

“It’s a hard league. You’ve got to be disciplined and put runs together. With our gaffer and management staff, I think we’ve got the right credentials to steer the boys in the right direction. Hopefully, we can do that.”

Williams and fellow new signing Peter Clarke come into the squad as the experienced heads.

When asked how he has settled in at Walsall, Williams said: “It’s been good. It’s a change after two years at Cheltenham.

“It was a different culture there than I’ve had for most of my career, so I’m coming back to more of a normal culture here.

“The gaffer can be laid back. He does things in his own way and it’s good fun, but it’s hard work.

“Make no mistake about it, it’s one of the hardest pre-seasons I’ve had in a long time.

“It’s been really good. It’s a good group of lads, and we’re just trying to put things together on the pitch now. Everything is quite good. It’s just about tying things together on a matchday now.”

Williams, who turns 36 next month, could keep up his pre-season scoring streak against Coventry City at Bescot tonight.

He is determined to play a key role under Flynn.

“I spent my whole two years at Cheltenham with no injuries, touch wood, and was available for every game. I’m not planning on changing that,” added Williams.

“It’d be nice to be on the pitch a bit more than I was previously. That’s why you keep yourself fit to get on the pitch, score some goals and give the manager no option than to start you in the next game.

“I’ve set myself a target. I won’t share it, but hopefully at the end of the season I’ll have a big smile on my face as I’ve hit it and we’ll be somewhere near the top.”