STAR midfielder Ashley Williams admits it was a wrench to leave Airbus UK Broughton – but the chance to sign for Chester FC was one he could not turn down.
The highly rated 23-year-old this week ended his two-and-a-half-year stay at the Airfield by joining his hometown club.
Williams, a Wales Under 23s semi-pro international, was held in the highest esteem by the Wingmakers and manager Craig Harrison was desperate to retain his services.
But Harrison, who played in the Premier League with Middlesbrough, refused to stand in his way once the former Manchester City trainee made it clear he wanted to make the move to the reborn Blues.
Williams, who has been on trial at Wrexham in the past, said: “I really enjoyed my time at Airbus but I felt it was the right time to move and, once I knew Chester were interested, there was no way I could turn them down.
“Everyone has been great with me at Airbus. I have really enjoying playing for Craig Harrison. He’s been good to me and he helped me with the move to Chester.”
Williams, who reached the FA Youth Cup final with City alongside established Premier League stars like Micah Richards and Daniel Sturridge, will command a fee as he was under contract at Airbus.
The undisclosed amount agreed between the clubs will swell what is an already large Wingmakers war chest following the sale of Jake Cassidy to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the summer.
Harrison has brought in three players since the transfer window reopened at the start of the month and Williams’ departure is likely to lead to more recruits arriving at the Airfield.
Airbus secretary Phil Bailey will be sad to see Williams go.
Bailey said: “It’s a massive opportunity for Ashley and we wish him all the best.”
Flintshire’s Jamie Reed has signed for York City after the Blue Square Premier club paid a record transfer fee to Bangor City for his services.
The Connah’s Quay-born striker was a key man in Bangor’s record unbeaten run this season in the Welsh Premier League and made his debut against Grimsby on Tuesday night in a 1-0 win for the Minstermen.