Happy to be here - Gavin

IPSWICH new boy Gavin Williams is already considering the possibility of a permanent move to Portman Road.It took just one day at the Town training ground, meeting the players who will be his team-mates for at least the next month, for the Welsh international to feel at home.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH new boy Gavin Williams is already considering the possibility of a permanent move to Portman Road.

It took just one day at the Town training ground, meeting the players who will be his team-mates for at least the next month, for the Welsh international to feel at home.

Williams, 25, said: “As far as I am concerned, if I am going to leave the Premiership, there is no better club than Ipswich.

“This is an important time for me now, with the transfer window opening in January. I need to get my career moving again.

“I still haven't given up on making it at West Ham - I still have three years on my contract there - but there comes a time when you have to do what's best for yourself and your career.

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“Obviously, it would be up to the two clubs and the two managers as to whether anything permanent was going to happen.

“At the moment I just can't wait to get playing again. I haven't had a great deal of football so far this season.”

Williams may be small in stature but he has a reputation as a big-hearted player and he is clearly anxious to make an impact during his time at Portman Road.

He will be in the squad for the visit to Coventry on Saturday week and should also be available for the games against Reading, Cardiff, Wolves and QPR.

After that, who knows? Will Town boss Joe Royle want to extend the loan period into January or will West Ham counterpart Alan Pardew insist upon his return to Upton Park?

Williams has not featured for the Hammers in the Premiership this season, his only senior outing coming in a 4-2 win at Sheffield Wednesday in the Carling Cup.

But he stressed: “I have absolutely no complaints about West Ham. They are going well in the Premiership and I'm not the only player who isn't getting a game.

“I have no real preference about where I play. I would describe myself as an attacking midfielder, but I don't mind if I'm playing through the middle or on either side.

“When I first went to West Ham last December I was playing on the right. Then I remember my third game was at Portman Road on New Year's Day and on that occasion I was in the middle of three midfielders.

“At Yeovil I played most of my football on the left. I'm right-footed, but I don't mind if I'm on the left. I'll play anywhere if it means getting a regular game.”

Merthyr-Tydfil born Williams was sidelined with damaged ankle ligaments and took no part in last season's double-header with the Hammers in the play-offs.

He is one of four brothers and, as a professional footballer, is definitely the odd one out.

“My brothers are all bigger than me and they all play rugby,” he explained. “The younger one, Lewis, is with Cardiff. He's is the Under-18s at the moment so, fingers crossed, he will come through.

“The others play at local level, like my dad did. I went to a school where they only played rugby but it was always football for me and I used to look forward to the weekends.”

Williams knocked back interest from Cardiff and Swansea to launch his career with Hereford, leaving school to join the YTS ranks at Edgar Street.

He recalled: “Hereford were doing well at the time. They had just been in the play-offs but in my first season there they were relegated to the Conference.

“That was obviously a big disappointment but they had to release quite a few players and that meant I was in the team at 17, which was good for me.”

He moved to Yeovil in 2002 and West Ham paid £250,000 for him 11 months ago, since which time he has only made 11 first team appearances, scoring once.

Earlier in his career he had a far healthier goals-per-game ratio and, almost sheepishly, he added: “I suppose I just had the knack of being in the right place at the right time.

“I haven't played as much football this year as I'd have liked. I was playing and really enjoying it when West Ham first signed me, but if you ask any player they will tell you it's not the same when you're not playing.

“The main thing is to be playing and that's why this move makes sense for me. I'd heard a few whispers that Ipswich were interested and when I heard for sure this week I was really excited about coming here.”

Williams was hoping to be included in Welsh boss John Toshack's latest squad, to be named today, for Wednesday's international in Cyprus.

Bournemouth-born Town keeper Lewis Price, who qualifies through his father, could well make his long-awaited senior debut on the holiday island, Williams having done so in August this year in a goalless draw with Slovenia in August.

He smiled: “We all get on well with Wales. The banter's good - we wind up Lewis that he's only in the squad because he's got a Welsh dog!”

Williams is looking forward to working with Town boss Joe Royle, who enthused earlier this week about the player's pace and energy.

The player added: “I consider myself fortunate that I've had some really good managers - Graham Turner, Gary Johnson and Alan Pardew.

“I will need a few good sessions because I haven't even trained a lot recently. I was down in Wales to be with my dad after he had a heart operation.

“I'm pleased to say that went fine and he's doing well now. I can get back to concentrating on my football and getting fully fit over the next week or so is my first priority.”

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