Young Liverpool defender delighted to have made his first-team debut but remains focused: Liverpool’s Neco Williams remains focused on development after first-team debut

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Young Reds defender Neco Williams says his own focus has remained on developing his game since his first-team debut against Arsenal in October.

Williams was speaking on LFCTV’s latest episode of The Academy, as reported on He disclosed the fact that nothing has changed for him since that 5-5 Carabao Cup draw with The Gunners at Anfield.

Williams overcame the onset of cramp deep in stoppage time to swing in a perfect cross from the byline on the right. Divock Origi was on hand to volley home the equaliser, leading to the penalty shootout which The Reds eventually won. Williams spoke about the feeling after setting up that late, late goal.

“I turned straight to the Kop and I was trying to soak it all in, all the atmosphere.

“I turned around and they [the players] were all coming to me. It obviously meant something to the players. It was a great feeling.

“There’s only one way to sum it up really: a dream come true. It was a special night for me and my family.

“Not many footballers get to say they made their debut for Liverpool at Anfield. Obviously it was a big day for me and I enjoyed every minute of it.”

The 18-year-old right-back said he also immediately thought of all those coaches who have helped him along the way behind the scenes.

“The whole Academy. The likes of Alex Inglethorpe, Neil Critchley, Barry Lewtas, Steve Heighway, Rob Jones – there are lots of managers who have helped me along the way and built my confidence to get me to that stage.

“They have all helped me come a long way since I was seven or eight years old. They are the people who got me to where I was that night.”

About everyday life in The Academy since that night, Williams insists nothing much has changed for him.

“You get congratulations but nothing has changed just because I have made my debut now.

“That just makes me want to work harder to get more opportunities. I’ve just got to keep going and keep fighting and hopefully more opportunities will come.

“But when I am with the U23s, nothing changes – it’s the same attitude and same mentality and I’ve just got to keep fighting for more opportunities.”

Williams and many other youngsters are sure to get more game time in the Carabao Cup quarter-final at Aston Villa in December. Liverpool have to field two ‘first-teams’ in a 24-hour-period over two different continents as the Carabao Cup game clashes with The Reds’ involvement in the Club World Cup in Qatar.

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