Williams has his sights set on promotion

EX-Colchester United striker, Gareth Williams, has his sights set on reaching the Blue Square Premier with Braintree Town.A man of many talents, the flame-haired former Welsh under-21 international is also kick-starting his new career as a plumber.

Carl Marston

EX-Colchester United striker, Gareth Williams, has his sights set on reaching the Blue Square Premier with Braintree Town.

A man of many talents, the flame-haired former Welsh under-21 international is also kick-starting his new career as a plumber.

Williams agreed to sign for the Iron this week, after taking the non-league by storm with a goal ratio of nearly one goal every two games for his former club Bromley.

Now the 25-year-old is planning to combine plundering goals with professional plumbing. Having revealed to the EADT a few months ago that he was pursing this new trade, Williams has recently qualified - but football will still be his No. 1 priority.

"The chairman at Bromley put the club up for sale at the end of last season, and we had no manager for a while," explained Williams last night.

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"Everything was up in the air, and no on knew who was staying or going, so in the mean-time I have got myself sorted out with Braintree, even though Mark Goldberg is now back as Bromley manager.

It's just a case of dotting the "i's" and crossing the "t's."

"Braintree finished in the play-offs last season, and I'm looking forward to helping them sustain a real push for promotion next season.

I am at the stage of my career where I still want to play at the highest level possible, and push up the Football pyramid.

"Location is not yet the most important thing. My girlfriend works in Bromley, so I will probably be staying in the area, but it's only an hour's drive to Braintree," confirmed Williams.

Former Crystal Palace trainee Williams knows this journey well - he enjoyed three spells with Colchester, the first two on loan before he made the move to Layer Road permanent during the summer of 2004.

In fact, he was a member of Phil Parkinson's promotion-winning squad of 2005-06, although he failed to start many games and eventually ended up on loan at Blackpool, before being released shortly after the U's had wrapped up promotion to the Championship.

Williams continued: "I had some good memories at Colchester, but it wasn't a real surprise when they got relegated this year.

"Being a striker myself, I think they really missed losing Curo (Jamie Cureton to Norwich) and the big man (Chris Iwelumo to Charlton). They were the top pair in the Championship in the first season.

"There aren't many players left from my time at the club, but then that's football for you. The likes of Richard Garcia, Greg Halford and Wayne Brown all moved on. But it's like that everywhere.

"The move to the new ground (Community Stadium) should be good for Colchester. Hopefully, it will mean a bigger fan-base and more money to spend."

While the U's are facing up to life in League One, at their new ground, Braintree will be looking to build on last season's excellent fifth place finish, which eventually saw them lose to Eastbourne Borough in the Blue Square South play-offs.

Williams' rush of goals - 17 in 37 league starts - helped Bromley to 11th spot, just five points behind Braintree.

"I'm keeping myself as fit as I can. I'm already doing a lot of running, in preparation for the new season," said Williams.

"There are a few guys in the Braintree squad who live near me, so it will be a case of sharing the driving. That was always the situation at Colchester when I used to have a car-full. Kem Izzet, Bobby Bowry, Joey Keith and I used to take it in turns to drive.

"I've also finished my plumbing course, so now I'm hoping to work alongside an established plumber. I've done my apprenticeship, so I want to learn off someone with more experience," concluded Williams.

Next season, then, Williams will be clearing pipes as well as unlocking defences.

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