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In focus: Jonny Williams

22 January 2016

mkdons.com takes a look at attacking midfielder Jonny Williams, who has joined the Dons on a 93-day loan...

Born in Kent, Williams is a product of the Crystal Palace academy set-up and he signed his professional contract at Selhurst Park in April 2010.

Before featuring for the first-team Williams was recognised at international level, playing twice for Wales Under-21s during the 2010/11 campaign.

He then made his senior debut as a 68th minute substitute in a Championship fixture with Coventry City in August 2011. A week later, he has handed his first Palace start for a League Cup fixture with Crawley Town and Williams claimed an assist for Wilfried Zaha’s opening goal. In his next appearance, a League Cup clash with Wigan, Williams scored his first career goal with a 20-yard strike which evaded Latics goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi.

Williams featured another nine times for Palace, totalling another five assists, before suffering an injury in November which would keep him out for three months. He made his return in a Championship clash with Hull City and he’d go on to make another five appearances before the season’s end.

That summer, Williams signed a new five-year contract to commit his future to Selhurst Park and it was during the following campaign that he really established himself as a first-team player with Palace.

Although he missed the first four games, Williams would go on to become a regular in the Palace midfield in 2012/13 and he totalled 37 appearances, helping Palace achieve promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs.

Williams, who played in a number of different positions including both wings and the midfield role behind the striker, was named Palace’s Young Player of the Year for his performances during the promotion-winning campaign.

While the 2012/13 season was a successful one for Williams at club level it was also a big year for him on the international stage.

After scoring his first international goal with the Under-21s, Williams earned his first senior cap by coming on as a half-time substitute in a friendly against Scotland in March 2013. He would make his first senior international start for Wales four days later against Croatia.

In August 2013, Williams made his Premier League bow as a substitute in Palace’s home fixture with Tottenham Hotspur. He made a further eight appearances in the top flight while also adding another three international caps to his name before joining Ipswich Town on loan.

Between March and the end of the campaign, Williams played 13 times for the Tractor Boys, during which time he scored their Goal of the Season with a tremendous 30-yard strike in a 2-1 win over Derby County.

Williams made his sixth appearance for Wales during the summer before returning to the Eagles’ side for the start of their 2014/15 Premier League campaign. He played four times during the first two months of the season before re-joining Ipswich on an initial three month loan, which was later extended until the end of the year.

He scored on his return to the Tractor Boys and but would be limited to just seven appearances due to injury. He did, though, add to his international cap total with another full appearance in Wales’ Euro Championship qualifier with Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Williams was sent out on loan, once again, at the start of the current season but this time he joined Nottingham Forest, instead of a fourth-spell at Ipswich. He played 10 times for Forest, before returning to Selhurst Park in January.

Featuring off the bench in Palace’s clash with Chelsea in early January, Williams hasn’t played since so will be eager to match minutes during his time at stadiummk, especially with Euro 2016 coming up in the summer.

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