Sean joins the Athletic elite | News – bridgend

Friday, 27 September 2019

– Rugby

by Contributed ItemContributed Item


Recently, in the Specsavers Plate game against Pyle, Sean Williams joined a select band of 10 players to make 300 recorded Athletic senior appearances.

The other nine are Stuart Morris, Wayne Fooks, Simon Mustoe, Paul Rees, Huw Hathaway, Tony Griffiths, Martin Morris, Gary Dalton and Jonathon Stoker. In fact, it is possible that, at the end of this season, Sean will be among the top five on the all time Athletic senior player list.

Sean, like his late uncle, Wales and British Lion Gareth Williams, can play anywhere in the back row and has played most of his games at No 8 or in his current position of blind side flanker. When the need arose he has taken his line out prowess into the lock position as well.

Sean was a late starter in rugby, joining Bridgend Athletic Junior under-15 team and playing for Brynteg Comprehensive School. He developed quickly and his leadership qualities emerged both at Brynteg, captaining the senior side for two seasons and captaining the Athletic Youth in his third season.

He led the Ath Youth to the District Cup, scoring his only try hat-trick in the final. He also won a Boys Club of Wales Cap and represented Crawshays Youth.

He made his First XV debut at the end of season 2005-2006, while still in youth and has clocked up a number of player of the year awards. Nobody in the club can remember Sean having a bad game. He has played 291 of the 300 games for the First XV, scoring 35 tries and 175 points.

He captained the club for five consecutive seasons, starting in 2011/12.

At the end of his first season as captain, the team were promoted into the inaugural championship of season 2012-2013, where the club, despite lacking the resources of most of its rivals held its own for three of the four seasons, finishing ninth and eighth twice in a table of 14 teams. Among those teams were Swansea, Ebbw Vale, Pontypool, and Newbridge.

Sean said: “My best rugby memories would be pretty much all of our spell in the Championship from 2012-2016, playing as underdogs week in week out and beating the ‘bigger’ teams.

“It has been a privilege to play with so many different players, whether they be Athletic boys from the First team or the Generals or boys turning up to help us out. My ambition would be to take the Athletic back to the Championship, whether that be as a player or as a coach one day.”

Head coach John Apsee wrote: “Sean Williams epitomises Bridgend Athletic RFC in every way:

I have had the pleasure of being involved with Sean for most of his senior rugby career.

He comes from the formidable Williams family, of quality sportsmen, athletes/rugby players, whose family background has been farming, hard work and rugby football.

“Sean certainly takes all these attributes onto the rugby field, which makes him the outstanding uncompromising player he is.

“Bridgend Athletic have produced numerous international players over the years and for me Sean is up there with the best of them. Well done Sean on your 300th game and joining such a unique group of Athletic players.”

Team manager Paul Hearne commented: “Sean has been an ever present in the First XV since leaving youth. His fitness and attitude in training and matches is second to none. He has played Premiership Rugby with Swansea where the coaches held the same high regard for him as do the Athletic.

“He bounced back from a serious injury needing knee reconstruction stronger than ever.”

Gerald Williams added: “This is my third season with Bridgend Athletic and working with Sean has been rewarding in what he contributes to the squad. He’s always working to maximum whether in rugby games or training.”

Stuart Morris who played alongside Sean and is now an Ath coach said: “A true leader on the field, never takes a backward step. The bigger the challenge the better he is.”

AB

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