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Williams "waking up every day smiling" as dream comes true

Read from the Irishman as pre-season gets underway...

29 June 2018

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It was quite the summer for Millwall midfielder Shaun Williams.

With a wedding on the horizon, the Irishman jetted away on holiday after the conclusion of the 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship campaign, ready to enjoy an extended break.

However, one phone call was to change all that.

With friendly matches against Celtic, France and USA on the horizon, Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill decided to hand the midfielder a first international call-up at the age of 31.

Williams played 61 minutes at Celtic Park as the Emerald Isle drew 2-2 with The Bhoys in Scott Brown's testimonial before gaining his first international cap at the Stade de France as he played the final 10 minutes in a 2-0 defeat against the French.

"I've really enjoyed [the summer], it's been unbelievable. My best summer so far. I'm buzzing all round," Williams told

"It was a dream come true, really. Everyone wants to play for their country and now I have. Myself, my friends, my family - everyone that knows me knows I want to play for Ireland, so its been amazing."

The midfielder could have added a debut goal to his first cap in Paris, but goalkeeper Steve Mandanda was on hand to thwart Williams from close range in injury-time as the rain lashed down.

When asked whether he was disappointed at not finding the net, Williams added: "Yeah, its still haunting me at the moment!"

Shaun Williams

Away from the international scene, Millwall's players returned to Calmont Road on Monday morning to begin pre-season training ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.

Williams, who has scored 14 goals in 195 appearances for The Lions, may not have had as long of a summer break as the majority of the squad, but nonethless the midfielder is looking forward to getting to work under Neil Harris once more - and hopefully carrying on the "highlight" of his career so far.

"The way we fared last season stands us in good stead for this one. With the summer I've had, I've been waking up every day smiling and looking forward to getting back to training.

"Playing in The Championship and under Neil Harris is great - he's done an unbelievable job in a short space of time. Along with playing for Ireland, this time has definitely been the highlight of my career so far.

"I think I was only away for 10 days, but I'm quite fit anyway, so it's fine. There's a lot of people that complain about [pre-season training], but everyone has to do it. You've got to do your best, because it's only going to help you in the end."

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