Derrick Williams a Wembley champion

Derrick Williams

Derrick Williams

Derrick Williams, the former Tramore AFC player walked up the famous Wembley steps on Sunday, March 22nd to collect his winners’ medal following Bristol City’s 2-0 victory over Walsall in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final.

Derrick is also expected to secure another medal in early May as his club are setting a blistering pace in Division One and they are expected to be crowned champions long before the season concludes and that will mean automatic promotion to the Championship club managed by Steve Cottrell.

Derrick was born in January 1993 in Germany. His American born father was serving in the US Army at that time. He arrived in Tramore with his parents as a young boy and needless to say he was snapped up by the loyal Tramore AFC coaching staff as Paul Power explained. “Derrick was an exceptional talent and all of the people at the club knew they had a special talent on their hands. That fact was underlined by the fact that he played Kennedy Cup for the Waterford League out of his age which meant he played in that competition for two years running. As far as I know the only other player to do that was John O’Shea. Derrick always looked at ease playing at left-full back and he got excellent coaching from Decky Howlett and Anthony Rockett.

A host of clubs were chasing the signature of Derrick including Manchester City and Ipswich Town but he decided to sign for Aston Villa in January, 2009 and Alex McLeish brought him into the first team squad during the latter stages of the 2011-12 season.

Paul Lambert, who replaced McLeish, gave Derrick his league debut against Queens Park Rangers on December 12th, 2012. Due to the fact that he was not getting enough game time at Aston Villa, Derick accepted a three year contract from Bristol City and he signed on the dotted line in June 24th, 2013 and he has not looked back since.

Sean O’Driscoll was the manager at Ashton Gate at that time but results did not live up to expectations and O’Driscoll was replaced by Steve Cottrell in December 2013 and the new manager (who once managed Sligo Rovers) made an immediate impact with “The Robins” and the club are now certainly moving in the right direction.

Derrick has been capped eight times at U19 level and he also has six U21 caps. Due to the fact that he was born in Germany and his father was American he could have played for those countries but he was always going to declare his allegiance to Ireland, the birthplace of his mother.

One would imagine it’s only a matter of time before he will be called up into the full Irish squad by Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane such is his current form.

Derrick remains in touch with his many friend in Tramore and during the close season last year he enjoyed a wonderful night in O’Shea’s Hotel with those friends at the Tramore AFC V Tramore Rangers Boxing Night. Little did they know they would be cheering him on at Wembley and to promotion a few months afterwards.

The last word has to go to the legendary Tramore mentor Paul Power. “We love to see our former players doing well where ever they go. We have produced a lot of players who have gone on to make a name for themselves in the game and we rejoice in the success of Derrick Williams. He was at all times encouraged to play out from the back by Decky Howlett and Anthony Rockett in Graun Park and thankfully he has carried their promptings into his professional career”.

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