It is hard to read through the VB NSW Cup individual statistics of 2015, and not notice the frequent appearance of the name ‘Mitch Williams’.
The Wyong Roos fell agonisingly short of finishing 2015 as competition leaders, but that did not stop their incredibly hard-working hooker and captain topping the league in line-break assists with 26, try assists with 22, and finishing just shy of the top in tackles with 759.
He is also ranked second in dummy-half runs with 113, which is a part of the reason he represented the NSW Residents team on three occasions, was named the VB NSW Cup hooker of the year in 2014, and recently earned a contract with the Sydney Roosters.
“Statistics wise it had been a good year,” said Williams.
“They don’t tell everything, but to be honest, I wanted to start the year and work a little bit on my defence. But I’ve always enjoyed ball playing, and I’ve been lucky enough to put a few guys through some holes.”
Williams’ continued dominance of the second-tier competition earned him the opportunity to train with the Roosters squad last November, which led to his inclusion in their 2015 Auckland Nines squad.
With a dream of playing in the NRL in sight, he draws from these experiences into the way he is playing now with the Roos, and could certainly pave the way for a first-grade debut should the opportunity arise.
“I did the pre season just gone with [the Roosters], and I really enjoyed that. Obviously I learnt a lot from them and hopefully brought some of that back to Wyong,” said Williams.”
“[The Auckland nines] was a great experience, definitely one of the highlights of my football career. Going over there and playing on that stage with the full crowd of New Zealanders going crazy every time someone touches the ball was unreal.”
The focus right now for Williams, however, is on the Wyong Roos’ 2015 finals campaign.
Roos coach Rip Taylor is delighted to have such a wonderful player and leader under his coaching structure, and explains the imperative role he plays within their club.
“Any captain is valuable to their team, but obviously Mitch’s desire and everything he brings to the team and the club is unbelievable. He’s a very valuable player for our organisation,” said Taylor.
“I think he’s improved a little bit this year from last year. He’s experienced, he helps out the young guys – Mitch is just getting better.”
Williams leads on the field with his actions rather than his words, and these actions inspire the players around him to do their required roles to the best of their ability – a major factor of the Roos’ 2015 success.
“I’m more action that words with how I play. If I think something needs to be said I’ll say it,” said Williams.
For the Roos to go all the way this season, Williams is clear his side need to be defensively switched on in every game.
“We’ve got to get our defence in order, we know that if we can keep the other side to two or three points then we’ve got enough points in us to win the game,” he said.
“I think we’ve gone great [this season], obviously we just missed out on the minor premiership which is a good goal of how you’ve gone this year, but it’s a new competition now so we’ll be judged on how we finish up.”
Williams’ unbelievable statistics show how incredibly important he is to the Roos team on the field, but he is also extremely valuable for the club off it.
A strong finish 2015 mixed with a continuation his outstanding form into next season could potentially open the door for such a gifted player to fulfill his NRL dream.