At 18-years of age, George Williams wasn’t offered a professional contract with MK Dons. Fast-forward seven years and Williams donned the captains armband for the Club against Liverpool.
The Defender could’ve easily explored exit trials, or look for a professional club to continue his career, however, he took a very unconventional route. While he was a second-year scholar, Williams prepared himself for life after football by applying for University.
One of the University’s that accepted his application was Loughborough University – a place famed for its prestigious sports teams.
It was at Loughborough Williams rediscovered his love for football, and it’s a route into the game that he couldn’t recommend highly enough to young footballers.
“I was doing college work while in the Academy so applied for university and one of the ones I applied for was Loughborough University. I was fortunate enough to have been accepted and upon my release from Dons, I made my mind up that I would go and study there.
“I studied Sports Science with Management, for the first two years I played for the university team and that was really enjoyable. In my third year I started playing part-time for Worcester City in the Conference. while I was in my final year of university, Barnsley approached Worcester and I signed there with one semester left at university.”
Williams feels that University life not only improved his football, but also developed him off the field.
“I benefited immensely from University.. I experienced a load of new things, I learnt how to cook and became a lot more independent. Whilst studying and playing part-time football, it made me find my love for the game again.
It helped me on and off the pitch and helped me become a man. I speak to some of the young lads now, and I couldn’t recommend university enough to them. It’s a great route that isn’t your typical route into professional football.
“I think a lot of people think you sign your professional contract at 18 and you’ve made it but it’s really not like that. You’ve got to have a plan if things don’t work out and University does that for you.”