Devon 'Speedy' Williams slowly making mark with Reggae Boyz

BY SEAN A WILLIAMS
Deputy Sport Editor

Friday, September 13, 2019

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana — Devon “Speedy” Williams, contrary to his quick feet, likes to take most things slowly.

He rarely rushes anything, preferring always to be patient, knowing very well that timing is everything. This quality, over his 27 years, has aided his success in life and football.

Williams, who hails from the Southside community of central Kingston, is no stranger to playing the proverbial second-best in a career where he often comes off the bench, or not at all.

But with hard work and the human virtue of patience, it's always just a matter of time for his quality to coming shining through, and for those who may have doubted it prior, will come to have high appreciation for it.

For club and country, Williams has never seen better days. In the US United Soccer League, the former St George's College standout is a regular fixture at Louisville FC, and recently, starting games for Jamaica is having a familiar feel.

In five games for the Reggae Boyz at the recent Concacaf Gold Cup, Williams had starting roles against Honduras, Curacao and the semi-final match against hosts USA.

Last Friday, he was again a first-choice midfield pick for coach Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore, as the Boyz swamped Antigua and Barbuda 6-0 in the opening match of the Concacaf Nations League B at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.

Williams, who also represented Jamaica at the Under-20 level, said coach Whitmore has seen in him what other coaches have over the years.

“I think the coach sees my passion and my dedication and the drive to be here and to be a contributor, and I think I am showing him this in practice and in games,” he told the Jamaica Observer in Guyana on Monday, ahead of kick-off to the Nations League match against the hosts.

Jamaica won 4-0 to tighten their grip of on Group C of League B.

Williams, who was rested for the Guyana match, reflected on the Antigua encounter in which he has a role in the dominant rendition.

“I think the performance in Montego Bay was good for me and the team as well and I really like the way we played because we did so as a team and we managed the game and that's why we got that comfortable result,” he said.

The former Red Bulls II player deemed his playing in the Gold Cup as a “great experience”.

“Everything about the tournament was great, but unfortunately we didn't get to win it but it was a great learning experience for myself and the squad and this should help us going forward.

“We have a very talent group here and the consistency in the squad is helping us a lot as if you look around most of the guys from the Gold Cup are still here, and having a mostly unchanged squad is helping us a lot right now,” Williams shared.

The former Real Mona midfielder says he is focused on fighting to stay in Whitmore's view as the Boyz continue their Nations League campaign and for the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers to come.

“My aim is to try and be a regular figure in the squad and the team and to continue working hard to the ultimate goal of qualifying for the World Cup,” Williams said.

Though he is yet to penetrate the US Major League market, or the European jurisdiction, the Jamaica international says his professional career “has been going good”.

“I have won three championships in five seasons, so I would say that is very good. At Louisville, we have a very professional setting, and as a long as you are in a professional setting you are going to get better each day,” Williams noted.

The quiet, soft-spoken footballer says he benefits from having Boyz teammate, defender Shaun Francis, at Louisville.

“It helps a lot when you have a Jamaican teammate in the same club because you would be more comfortable knowing you have someone to talk to, and someone who understands you… also we can help each other on and off the pitch,” Williams expressed.

Although life is good at Louisville, Williams remains vigilant for opportunities that could propel his career to new heights.

“You are always trying to improve and get better and in order to improve you have to go higher and that is always the aim and that is never going to change,” he said.

Editor's note: The author of this story is no relation to the subject, Devon Williams.


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