mkdons.com takes a look at former apprentice George Williams, who is set to re-join the Dons on a two-year deal...
The right-back was a regular for Mike Dove’s side but, after his scholarship period came to an end, he left the Club and went to study Sports Science with Management at Loughborough University.
While studying, Williams played part-time for National League North outfit Worcester City – he made his debut against Altrincham Town later in the month.
Three days after that appearance, Williams grabbed his first senior goal in Worcester’s clash at Gloucester City – a fierce header from a deep cross. In total, the defender featured 38 times in his first season at the Victoria Ground.
The following campaign he remained Worcester’s first-choice right-back and two months into the season he netted his second goal – this one a stunning drive from distance in a 2-1 triumph over Gainsborough Trinity.
Williams’ good form continued and in October he helped the Blues qualify for the First Round Proper of the FA Cup and earn a tie against League One Coventry City.
The full-back impressed in the clash at the Ricoh Arena and played a pivotal role in their superb 2-1 success which saw them rewarded with a trip to Scunthorpe United – the Worcestershire outfit put in a good display but were beaten on penalties.
Williams’ continued good performances drew interest from a host of professional teams including Barnsley, who won the race to sign him for an undisclosed fee in January 2015.
He made his debut for the Tykes as a substitute in their clash with Preston North End at Deepdale and a few weeks later was handed his first start against, ironically, the Dons at Stadium MK- in total, the 23-year-old was involved with the first-team on nine occasions in his first campaign at Oakwell.
Williams featured as a substituted in Barnsley’s 2015/16 League One opener against Chesterfield but later in August joined National League side Barrow on loan in a bid to play regular football.
He made 14 starts for the Bluebirds during his 93-day stay in Cumbria before returning to Barnsley at the end of November.
Two months later, after injuries to Aidy White and Lewin Nyatanga, Williams was handed a start at left-back by boss Lee Johnson for the League One clash with Rochdale and he helped the Tykes to an impressive 6-1 victory, providing an assist for the fourth goal.
Following his notable display, remained a starter for Barnsley and he was included in the first XI for Barnsley’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final with Oxford United at Wembley Stadium – Williams played the full 90 minutes, helping the Tykes to a 3-2 win.
In the league, Williams and Co secured a top-six finish and after navigating their way through the two-legged semi-final against Walsall, they faced Millwall in the final at Wembley, eventually running out 3-1 victors – Williams, still in the left-back position, played the entire match.
At the end of the campaign, Williams was offered a contract by the promoted Tykes but after discussions with the management, he decided to leave Oakwell, subsequently agreeing a deal with the Dons – his hometown club.