Australian midfielder Ryan Williams says he is back to full fitness and ready to put his injury problems behind him at new club Rotherham United – but admits forcing his way into the Socceroos set-up this season is not his main goal.
Williams, the younger brother of Melbourne Victory defender Rhys, endured a difficult two years at Championship side Barnsley after arriving from Fulham in 2015.
The 23-year-old has made just 23 appearances in the past two seasons because of a series of pelvis and groin injuries.
Barnsley released Williams last month and the attacking midfielder signed for League One side Rotherham on a two-year deal. The former Young Socceroo and Olyroo is keen to make up for lost time.
“As far as personal goals go my aim is just to play every week and focus on each game rather then looking too far ahead,” he told FourFourTwo.
“I feel you can get to caught up with where you want to be and forget to just play football and enjoy it. Clearly the aim for the club is to get back to the Championship and that's mine too.”
The Millers were relegated from the Championship last season after finishing 24th. Williams is keen to repay the faith shown in him by Rotherham boss Paul Warne.
“The attraction of the club was the manager, after having spoken with him about how he wants the team to play and how I fit into that team really made me want to be a part of it,” Williams said.
“It's a great opportunity for me to show what I'm about and for me to play regularly which will then allow people to look past my injury history. Obviously it helps that I'm familiar with the area anyway it's always an added bonus.
“The gaffer said to me as long as I work hard for the team, which he has already identified I do, then with my ability the rest will fall into place. That's also something I believe, I think I need momentum and he's given me an opportunity to do so.
“Leaving Barnsley wasn't as disappointing as I thought it would be, the reason being I was injured and didn't enjoy not playing, which is something you need to be doing. I still have a lot of friends at the club and will remain friends with them for a long time, there’s definitely no hard feelings there.”
Williams has been in the UK for the past seven years after joining Portsmouth as a 17-year-old from Perth club ECU Joondalup.
The winger signed for Fulham in 2012 and spent time on loan at Gillingham and Oxford United.
Previously, Socceroo coach Ange Postecoglou has selected players performing well in League One for Australia, including Massimo Luongo, Bailey Wright and James Meredith. But Williams admits breaking into the national team is not on his radar right now.
“To be honest I just want to concentrate on playing games and playing well in those games,” he said.
“If in that period I get noticed by Ange then great, if not I'll just be happy I'm out there playing football again and work even harder. Taking football for granted is definitely something that I don't do these days.”