It’s been a good season so far for Nuneaton Town striker Aaron Williams, as he has plundered his way to sixteen goals in thirty appearances for the Vanarama National League North side.
That form has helped Kevin Wilson’s side to live up to many pre-season predictions that they would be amongst the promotion chasers looking to secure a place in non-league’s top tier next season.
They currently sit in the final play-off spot in the National League North table, but are only five points behind leader Solihull Moors.
If there were to succeed in securing promotion, Boro would bounce back into the National League at the first attempt, a challenge many clubs have found difficult to overcome.
However Williams believes that if they can achieve promotion they will be putting the Boro back where they belong.
“The National League is where Nuneaton Town should be and that is the target for everyone at the club I think.
We have a brand new squad and a lot of us have made the step up together, so we are in the same boat.
That means that there is a determination across the squad to show that we can cope at National League level that we are capable of making the step up
A club the size of ours should be in the National League, competing against the big clubs in there and trying to make an impact. Hopefully we can do that next season by getting ourselves promoted this season”
Relegation from the National League led to a change in manager for the club, with former Ilkeston boss Kevin Wilson(pictured left) joining the club shortly after the end of last season.
His arrival heralded a mass overhaul of the Boro squad, with a number of young players, including Williams, making the step up from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, a division well-known by Wilson from his time with the Robins.
And former Rushall Olympic striker Williams is delighted with the way he has made the step-up so far this campaign.
“I have found the step up easy, but I have played at this level before when it was the Conference North. I was at Worcester City so I knew a bit about the league.
There is no-fear, as a youngster you play with no-fear and again it is the same with a lot of our players. We have a lot of players under the age of twenty three and they have that sort of attitude.
Obviously it helps that we are full time at Nuneaton, so we have that extra edge and a bit more tempo. The training we are given has helped me step up and I have enjoyed it”
But what of his new manager?
Despite coming up against Wilson’s Ilkeston side during his time with Rushall, Williams admitted that he didn’t know much about the former Chelsea and Northern Ireland striker, although did know about his reputation for helping develop young players.
“Obviously I knew Kevin Wilson from playing against Ilkeston but I didn’t know him personally when I agreed to join Nuneaton.
But I did know of his reputation and he had a reputation of helping young players get a move back into the Football League, that made it a no-brainer going there”
Although many of Wilson’s new additions have been younger players, the most high-profile signing was veteran striker Marlon Harewood.
After finishing last season with SkyBet League Two side Hartlepool United(where hs is pictured right), the former Aston Villa and West Ham United front man surprised many by making the move to Nuneaton in July.
Since then he has become a key part of Wilson’s squad, scoring eight goals in his twenty nine appearances for the club.
And Williams paid tribute to the role played by Harewood on and off the pitch at the club.
“Marlon is a massive character in the changing room and around the club. When he signed a lot of players couldn’t believe it, we were shocked to see such a big name, an established name joining the club.
You have to use someone like that for advice and he is only to happy to help. He has played at the highest level and he knows the game inside out.
We get on well, we have a close relationship and we talk alot. He looks out for me before, during and after a game and gives me advice. He is the same with everyone and we really appreciate that”
Williams has been tipped by some to make a return to the Football League, where he started his career with Walsall.
He featured in a Non-League Daily article that identified a number of non-league players who could make the step up to the Football League. That article can be read here.
Williams is targeting a return to where he began and thinks it would be a “massive achievement” if he could do that.
“I think every young player wants to get back into the Football League. I’m 22 now and of course I want to be back in there, anyone in our squad would want that, even those who haven’t been in there.
For anyone in our squad to get into the Football League, whether they have been there or not, would be a massive achievement, and I am no different, that is where I want to be”
For now he will focus on carrying on his fine start to his career at the club, in the hope that he can put Boro back, where he believes, they belong.
Interview: Mark Carruthers
Images: www.actionimages.com / Nuneaton Town FC